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How to Use Birth Control Pills Correctly

Sep 23, 2009
Many women choose the birth control pills to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The pill is considered to be safe and reversible birth control method with 99 percent effectiveness. However, the failure rate of the pill can be from 12 to 20 percent if it is used incorrectly. This might be due to the fact that women forget to take the pill or are confused about its proper use.

What are the most common mistakes while taking the birth control pills and how to deal with them?
  1. Starting the pack late


    It is essential to start taking the first pack of the birth control pills consistently and correctly follow the instructions. Most of the birth control pills are 21 days pills and the first pill should be taken within 7 days of woman's periods. It is often recommended to take the pill on the first day of the menstrual cycle.

    Many doctors recommend using a back-up method of birth control such as condoms or cervical cup during the first month of using the Pill. This is because your body needs some time to adjust to the Pill. After the first month of taking the birth control pill you can use them without a back-up method.

  2. Missing the pill


    Many women miss the pill either due to forgetfulness or lack of information about the correct use of the birth control pills. For example, they might decide to skip several pills to lower the side effects of the pill such as mid-cycle spotting or headache. It might also be the case that a woman mistakenly believes that it is not necessary to take the pills if she has no sexual contacts for certain time.

    If you forgot or did not take one active pill, it is important to take the pill as soon as you remember and continue taking the pill according to the schedule. If you forget to take two pills, you should take two pills as soon as you remember and two pills the next day. If you miss more than two pills, it is better to ask for advice your health care provider how to take the birth control pills correctly. In any case, if you miss the pill or more you will need to use a back-up method such as a condom until the end of the pack.

  3. Taking the pill out of order


    Some women confuse the sequence of taking the birth control pills or take the pills randomly. The pills in the pack contain different hormone combinations and some of the pills have active and inactive pills.

    If you took the pills in the wrong order it is better to continue with the regular order and use back-up method for the rest of the cycle. If you take more than one pill out of order, it is recommended to call your health care provider for instructions.

Things to remember:


  • If you forget to take a pill for more than 4 hours opt for back-up method like condoms, cervical cup, spermicides until you finish the pack.

  • If you got sick, use an antibiotic, have diarrhea or vomiting, it is better to use b aback-up method until you start the next pill pack.

  • Call your health care provider if you miss more than two pills and experience warning symptoms such as severe chest pain, visual problems, severe headache and others.


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Nov 27, 2016 03:15 AM » posted by: Nikkie
What is the effect of taking the 14th pill accidentally instead of taking the 8th pill in a 28-pill pack? And what shall i do to prevent pregnancy in that case?

Nov 04, 2015 09:11 PM » posted by: LM
Is it safe not to be pregnant if after making love to your partner you will take one pill and stop taking pill anymore beause of side effects and stop making love and wait for my monthly period to arrive.

Oct 26, 2012 10:52 PM » posted by: Lyn
Hi, i recently used 21 day pills but i forgot when did is i started it, my bf ask me to take 2 pills in a day, do i need to finished all of it till my period comes? Ived already take 10 pills already, but im waiting for my period to come, do i need to start a new pack of pills on my first day of period? Thnk u so much

Oct 21, 2009 05:37 PM » posted by: Ann
it depends on the type of pills you take. For some pills it does not matter in what order you take them and some pills should be taken strictly according to the order. I think that it is better to use a condom for the rest of the cycle anyway.

Oct 21, 2009 05:15 AM » posted by: lesley
i took the pill out of order, i already used the 7 pills but instead of using the 8, 9 and 10 pills i used the 14th, 13th, 12th and 11th pills consecutively and have contact on the 11th pill, is there a possibility of getting pregnant?i took my first pill on the 8th day of October 2009. i really really need your advice.


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