Birth Control Pill Protocol
Birth control pills and vaginal ring use can help improve menstrual cramps, reduce menstrual flow, help PMS, improve acne, regulate your periods, reduce your risk for ovarian and uterine cancer, relieve perimenopausal symptoms and prevent pregnancy.
Periods on birth control are not true periods, but called withdrawal bleeding. That is because the birth control pill or ring is withdrawn for a period to occur. Many women are now using birth control continuous to relieve menstrual problems and for convenience. It is safe not to have a period as long as you are on birth control.
Can Birth Control Help Regulate Your Period
While you might not be able to make your monthly visitor disappear forever, many forms of birth control can help regulate your period. This is great news for people living with irregular cycles and painful or heavy periods. According to the ACOG, combined hormonal methods that contain estrogen and progestin can make your period more regular, lighter, and shorter. This includes birth control pills, the patch, and the vaginal ring.
The bottom line is this: If you view your period as a monthly reassurance that youre not pregnant, then you might prefer to see it arrive on schedule. But if thats not you, asking your doctor about the types of birth control that are most likely to stop your period is something to consider.
Talk To A Medical Expert
If youve got any lingering questions or concerns about switching birth control, speaking to a member of the Nurx medical team is always a smart choice. We have a team of medical experts happy to chat to you about your reasons for switching birth control and what type of birth control might suit you best.
Our medical team can help you weigh up the best options, considering whether youre in a monogamous relationship or not, your plans for having children, if any, and whether you have any health conditions that could impact your choice. They will also outline any potential side effects and risks of the birth control methods youre interested in so you can make the most informed choice. They can also suggest when you should start your new birth control and other precautions you might take to protect yourself until it takes effect.
When you have settled on the birth control method you want to use, they can write a prescription for you and fill it, saving you a visit to your local pharmacy. Well then send it to you in discreet packaging, so you can start using it at the time you think is best.
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When To Start Birth Control Pills
There are three approaches that people tend to use when starting birth control pills.
1. Start immediately
This is the easiest approach. If youâre eager to get started, you can take your first oral contraceptive at any time. Take your pill at the same time every day to ensure effectiveness. Use back up contraception like condoms for one week while the pill kicks in.
2. Start during your period
If you receive your birth control prescription while you are on your period, thereâs no reason you cant start your pack that same day. Remember to use backup birth control for the first seven days as your body adjusts and your oral contraceptives become effective.
3. Start on Sunday
Some people choose to start their birth control pills on the Sunday following their period. This is due to some birth control packs beginning on a Sunday, but itâs unnecessary to start taking your oral contraceptives on any specific day in relation to your menstrual cycle. You can start on any day. Just remember to use back up protection for a week.
Starting The Combined Pill
You can normally start taking the pill at any point in your menstrual cycle. There is special guidance if you have just had a baby, abortion or miscarriage. The guidance may also be different if you have a short menstrual cycle. Get advice from a doctor or nurse if you need it. You may need to use additional contraception during your 1st days on the pill this depends on when in your menstrual cycle you start taking it.
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Should I Worry About Pregnancy If I Didnt Get A Period On The Placebo Week
If youre on birth control and not getting your period during your placebo week, theres no need to worry, especially if you know youve been taking your pill every day. Its normal for your period to be lighter and shorter than usual, especially if youve been on birth control for a while. About 10-20% of people experience very light or no period after their sixth pill pack, while 10% of people do not experience any withdrawal bleed. Take a pregnancy test if youve missed your period and are experiencing symptoms of pregnancy, such as morning sickness or breast soreness.
If youre on the progestin-only minipill, know that only 50% of minipill users experience regular menstruation, so expect the unexpected when it comes to your period.
What To Do If You Take The Combination Pill
Your pack may have seven pills at the end of it that are a different color from the others. These are hormone-free pills that help you stick to the habit of taking a pill every day. The days you take those are when you have your period. You donât need to do anything if you miss these pills, and your risk of getting pregnant wonât go up.
Hereâs what to do if you miss pills with hormones in them.
If youâre late to take a pill or forgot one dayâs pill, take it as soon as you can. Then take the rest of your pills like normal. You may end up taking two pills in one day to stay on schedule. You should use another type of birth control for the next 7 days if you missed a pill during the first week of a new pack.
If you forgot to take two or more pills in a row, take the pill you most recently missed immediately. You should get rid of the other pills you forgot to take. Then you take the rest of your pills like normal. Again, you might take two pills in one day. You need to use another form of birth control until youâve taken your pill every day for 7 days.
If you still have questions about when to take your pill, ask your doctor.
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Is It Safe To Skip Periods With Birth Control
Health care providers have been prescribing birth control to stop periods for a long time. Some people on birth control choose to skip their period only for special occasions . Other people use birth control to stop their periods if they have conditions such as endometriosis or period-related anemia.
Scientific research has found that using birth control to skip your period is as safe as taking your pills normally. If youre interested in stopping your periods with birth control, though, its always a good idea to talk to your health care provider about it first.
Birth Control For Beginners: 5 Things To Know Before You Start The Pill
The birth control pill is one of the greatest innovations in womens health. By providing safe, effective, and convenient protection against unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, the pill has given women more control over their own sex lives and reproductive health. Knowing what to expect when you start using the birth control pill is the best way to determine if its right for you and ensure you use it the right way.
If youre considering using the pill for the first time or are about to get started with your first pack, here are a few things you should expect within the next few months.
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The Combined Pill With Other Medicines
Some medicines interact with the combined pill and it does not work properly. Some interactions are listed on this page, but it is not a complete list. If you want to check your medicines are safe to take with the combined pill, you can:
- ask a GP, practice nurse or pharmacist
- read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine
The antibiotics rifampicin and rifabutin can reduce the effectiveness of the combined pill. Other antibiotics do not have this effect.
If you are prescribed rifampicin or rifabutin, you may be advised to change to an alternative contraceptive. If not, you will need to use additional contraception while taking the antibiotic and for a short time after. Speak to a doctor or nurse for advice.
Epilepsy and HIV medicines, and St John’s wort
The combined pill can interact with medicines called enzyme inducers. These speed up the breakdown of hormones by your liver, reducing the effectiveness of the pill.
Examples of enzyme inducers are:
- the epilepsy drugs carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone and topiramate
- antiretroviral medicines used to treat HIV
A GP or nurse may advise you to use an alternative or additional form of contraception while taking any of these medicines.
How Do I Take My Pill Continuously
There are a few different ways you can take your Combined Oral Contraceptive pill, depending on your lifestyle and what works best for your body.
Usually, when you take the pill, you take 21 hormone pills, and then 7 inactive non-hormone pills which causes you to get your period.
When you take your pill continuously however, you only take the hormone pills, and you skip the inactive pills, meaning you also skip your period. You can continue to take the hormone pills for as long as you like.
Some people like to take the hormone pills for a few months at a time, and then take the inactive pills to get a period, before going back to the hormone pills.
Its up to you to decide how you want to take your pill.
These videos can help explain how to continuously take your pill.
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Combination Birth Control Pills
If a combination birth control pill is started for the first time on the Sunday after your period begins, your period should occur about 25 days later. Ask your healthcare provider which day is the best to start your specific pill pack. If your period begins on a Sunday, you can start the pill pack on that Sunday.
- In general, about 3 days after finishing all of the 21 active tablets in a 28 pill pack, most women will start their period.
- If you use a 28-pill pack, you’ll get your period during the week you take the reminder pills.
- If you use a 21-day pill pack, you’ll still get your period the week you do not take any pills. Remember that the 21-day pack has no reminder pills. Use a reminder to help you stay on track.
Whats Normal Bleeding While On The Contraceptive Pill
Your bodyâs response to your pill will depend on the type of pill you take, and your own bodyâs hormones. If youâre taking a typical 21/7 monophasic pill , bleeding may start on day two or three of your placebo week and last 3-5 days on average. A few people may have only one day of bleeding mid-week, and others may have bleeding that extends into their next pill pack. Up to 1 in 10 have no withdrawal bleeding at all .
Bleeding on the contraceptive pill is also likely to change over time. In people using the 24/4 day pill , about 1-2 in 10 had no significant withdrawal bleeding by the 6th pill pack . Bleeding also tended to decrease over time.
No bleeding can also signal a pregnancy. Take a pregnancy test if youâre unsure, especially if you havenât taken your pills correctly in the previous pack.
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Do You Have To Take Birth Control At The Same Time Every Day
You must take progestin-only pills at the same time every day. If you take your pill more than 3 hours past your usual time, use a backup method of birth control for the next 48 hours . So theres no need to wait for the first day of your period to start taking your birth control pills you can start whenever you like!
When do you get your period after taking 28 Pill Pack?
In general, about 3 days after finishing all of the 21 active tablets in a 28 pill pack, most women will start their period. If you use a 28-pill pack, youll get your period during the week you take the reminder pills.
Can You Start Birth Control On Your Period
If you are on your period when you receive your birth control prescription, you can start taking your pills that same day. Keep in mind that the timing of everyoneâs natural fertility window can be highly unpredictable, so you canât completely rely on the idea that you wonât get pregnant while on your period. You should always use some form of birth control regardless of where you are in your menstrual cycle. Make sure to use a backup birth control method for the first seven days to prevent pregnancy while taking birth control pills. You can start taking oral contraceptives at any time as long as you make sure to use protection while you wait for your birth control pills to take effect.
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How Do I Change To A Different Pill
If you want advice about changing your contraceptive pill, you can visit a GP, contraceptive nurse , or sexual health clinic.
You should not have a break between different packs, so you will usually be advised to start the new pill immediately or wait until the day after you take the last of your old pills.
You may also be advised to use alternative methods of contraception during the changeover, as the new pill may take a short time to take effect.
If You’re Under 16 Years Old
Contraception services are free and confidential, including for people under the age of 16.
If you’re under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist will not tell your parents as long as they believe you fully understand the information you’re given and your decisions.
Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under 16. They’ll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they will not make you.
The only time that a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you’re at risk of harm, such as abuse. The risk would need to be serious, and they would usually discuss this with you first.
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How To Take 21
- Take your 1st pill from the packet marked with the correct day of the week, or the 1st pill of the 1st colour .
- Continue to take a pill at the same time each day until the pack is finished.
- Stop taking pills for 7 days .
- Start your next pack of pills on the 8th day, whether you are still bleeding or not. This should be the same day of the week as when you took your 1st pill.
When Can You Start Using Birth Control Pills
You can begin taking birth control pills in three different ways:
If you begin the pills within five days of starting menstruation, you wont need additional contraceptive protection.
If you start the pills more than five days after the beginning of menstruation, youll need to abstain from sex or use additional contraceptive protection for the next seven days.
Although you can take the pill at any time during the day, many people pair this step with a consistent part of their routine like breakfast, brushing teeth, or bedtime.
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What About Starting Birth Control At The Beginning Of My Cycle
Yes, you can start taking birth control pills any day of the week. However, starting a new birth control pill pack is most effective when the first pill is taken within the first 5 days of your menstrual period. This provides immediate protection against pregnancy from your first pill.
Although most birth control pill packs start on a Sunday, you can, in fact, start taking birth control on any day during the week. It is recommended that birth control is started within 5 days of the menstrual period, because it kicks in pregnancy protection right away. If you prefer to be extra careful, using an alternative method of contraception anyway may help put your mind at ease.