One of the most popular methods of birth control is “The Pill.” Many folks like the pill because it’s effective in preventing pregnancy, easy to swallow, and can be obtained easily. When taken every day, at the same time each day, birth control pills are very effective in preventing pregnancy.
How to start your pills
After your abortion, you don’t need to wait for your next period to take your birth control pills. You can start them at any time — the sooner, the better.
We recommend you start your pills on the same day as your abortion, or within the first week following, so you’re protected as soon as possible.
You will need to take birth control pills every day, at the same time each day, until you finish the pack and get your period. As soon as you finish one pack, you restart the process again with a new pack.
3 Ways to Remember to Take Your Pill
- Set an alarm on your phone
- Check it off on your calendar
- Sign up for text or email reminders
Remember: Birth control pills are 91% effective with typical use and 99% effective with perfect use.
Stay on track — Take one pill every day at the same time until you finish an entire pack.
What do I do if I miss a pill?
The pill works best if you take it every day, but sometimes you may forget. Don’t panic! If you miss a pill, take it as soon as you realize it’s late. An increased risk of pregnancy can occur when you miss pills, so you may want to keep some back up birth control, like condoms or emergency contraception pills, on hand to help keep you protected.
How do I make sure I am protected against pregnancy, even if I miss a pill?
There are two types of pills: Combination pills and Progestin-only pills.
If you are taking combination pills, like most birth control pill users, you are not at risk of becoming pregnant when forgetting a pill unless it’s been over 24 hours since your forgotten pill.
If you are among the 1% of pill users taking Progestin-only pills, taking your pill at the same time every day is especially important. Missing a pill by just a few hours can increase your risk of becoming pregnant.
What should I do if I forget a combination pill?
If you forget a combination pill, you will need to take 2 pills on one day (today’s pill, plus the one you missed). Take the forgotten pill right away, and the second pill at its normal time. If you take 2 pills at once, you may want to eat with your pills to prevent an upset stomach. You should plan to use a back up method of birth control (like a condom) if you have sex anytime in the 7 days after being one or more days late with a pill.
If you forget to take 2 of your pills for 2 days in a row, take the 2 forgotten pills the next day with food. Then, take one pill per day through the end of the pack, and be sure to use a back up method of birth control for 7 days following the forgotten pills if you have sex.
Most combination pills have three weeks of active medicine and one week of “sugar” pills that you take during the week that you will get your period. The easiest time to become pregnant when missing pills is at the start of your new pack , or during the third week of pills (right before your period). If you miss more than 2 pills during the third week of pills, you should start a new pack of pills during the fourth week instead of taking the “sugar” pills. Keep taking your pill every day, whether or not you get your period.
What should I do if I forget a Progestin-only pill?
Even if you are only a couple hours late taking your Progestin-only pill, you will need to use a back up method, like a condom, for at least 48 hours in order to be protected against pregnancy. Progestin-only pills do NOT come with a week of inactive “sugar pills.” If you forget a pill, always make sure to take the forgotten pill as soon as you realize you missed it.
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