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Using Birth Control Pills


When Do I Start My Pills?

You can start your pills on any day of your cycle. Starting on a Sunday helps because most packs start on Sunday. 

Will My Pills Work Right Away?

Not always. If you start your pills:

  • Within 5 days of the start of your period, the pill will work right away and you do not need backup birth control.

  • After the first 5 days of your period, the pill will not work right away so use backup birth control - like condoms - or don't have sex for 7 days.

How Do I Take My Birth Control Pills?

It's up to you, depending on whether or not you want to have a period.


If you want to have a period every month:

  • Swallow one pill every day, at the same time every day.

  • Take all the hormone pills, and placebo pills then start a new pack. Taking pills this way will give you a period about every 4 weeks.

If you want to choose when you have a period:

  • Take the first 3 weeks of hormone pills, skip the placebo pills, and start a new pack the next day. Continue taking only the hormone pills to avoid having your period.

  • When you're ready to have a period, take the placebo pills. 


Image by Jakob Owens
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