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When are you protected through birth control pills?

By Anonymous October 3, 2014 - 11:55am
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So I am just starting a new package of BCP (my second month). I took my first package of 3 week active pills at perfect use, then I had 1 week of inactive pills. I am on my 4th pill of my new package today, and I've taken the last 3 active pills at "perfect use" (within an hour range). Am I protected already?

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So i just started taking the pill about a week and 5 days ago my period was suppose to come on the first of the month and it havent came. My question is how long do birth control pill take to work? I had my period last month before i started taking thses pills. And another question is do they stop your periods ?

October 4, 2014 - 3:35pm

Hi Anon,

Thank you for visiting the EmpowHER community for advice about the effectiveness of birth control pills. 

It sounds to me like you have taken your pills very responsibly! The answer to your question depends on two factors: the kind of birth control pills you’re using, and the point in your menstrual cycle that you started them. Taking the combination pill? If you start the pill within five days after the start of your period, you’re protected right away. If you start at any other time during your cycle, you need to use a backup form of birth control — like a condom — for seven days.

Progestin-only pills, on the other hand, take 48 hours to become effective, regardless of where you are in your cycle when you start taking them. That means you need to use a backup birth control method for the first 48 hours.

Not sure what kind of birth control pills you’re using? Most people on the pill use the combination pill, but your health care provider can let you know for sure.

Just keep in mind, no birth control is absolutely 100% effective. I have know a few women who became pregnant even on the pill. I suggest using condoms (which will also help prevent the spread of STD's), pulling out and tracking your fertility cycle/ovulation cycle.

Anon, did this help?



October 3, 2014 - 12:41pm
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