Unwanted 21 Days

How to Use Birth Control Pills – A Simple Guide

Courtesy of the medicine and pharmaceutical interventions, women now have access to a variety of birth control measures and equally empowered as men to take charge. While condoms are an easier birth control measure to understand and use, birth control pills can be a little more difficult to understand.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use birth control pills along with information on different types of birth control pills:

There are two common types of birth control pills available in the market:

  1. Combination pills – contain estrogen and progestin. Can include both, active pills (contains hormones) and inactive pills (non-hormonal placebo pills which result in withdrawal bleeding). These combination pills can come in a 21/28/91- day pack.

  2. Mini- pills- contain only progestin. Come in only 28-day packs. Need to be taken once within the same 3-hour window every day.

Whichever type of pill you choose, there are three different times when you can start taking them:

  1. The day you begin your period. Take one starting that day, and then one each day at the same time. When you follow this birth control pills procedure, you don’t need to worry about using any backup birth control measure.

  2. The second option is to start taking the pills on the first Sunday after you begin your period. Take one pill each day, at the same time. An additional backup birth control measure such as a condom is recommended for at least seven days.

  3. Any day. Once you start, take one pill everyday at the same time. In this case, too, you will have to use an additional birth control measure.

Now, how exactly do you use these pills?

  • There are no restrictions in terms of ‘take the pill on an empty stomach or a full stomach.’

  • You can take them at whatever time of the day, as long as you take it at the same time, each day.

  • If you’re using a mini-pill, the above-mentioned point is even more crucial as the effects of the mini-pill last only for 24 hours.

  • If you’re on the 21-day pack, you don’t have to take pills during the 4th week.

  • If you’re on the 28-day pack, keep taking the pills- active and inactive ones.

  • For the 91-day pack, during the last week, take the placebo or low-estrogen pills to get your period.

  • If you’re on the mini-pill, make sure you take one pill every day; start a new pack when the old one is complete.

In case you decide to stop taking a birth control pill, be careful that the body can take some time to get back to its original ovulation cycles.

Regardless of the kind of pill you take, it is advisable to first consult your OB/GYN to understand the side-effects and if there are any contraindications i.e. if using these pills will interfere with a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes or coronary heart disease. A happy you begins with a healthy you, so stay safe!


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