How And When To Take Birth Control Pills?

how to take birth control pills

In this article, we’ll discuss how and when to take birth control pills for maximum benefits.


Birth control pills are combined oral contraceptive pills that have been created to reduce and almost nullify the chance of a woman becoming pregnant. The two usual hormones that do the magic are known as Estrogen and Progestogen.

The results that these hormone combination pills produce are amongst the most reliable ways to dodge unplanned pregnancies. The odds of becoming pregnant are 1 in 1000 if you take all pills on time, without missing a single dose. However, if you miss out on one or more doses, the odds increase to 90 is to 1000. 

Such hormonal contraceptives consist of a combination of handmade estrogen and progestin hormones. They function by inhibiting the natural cyclic hormones in the body so as to eradicate the chances of pregnancy. Once these contraceptives tackle the ovary, there is no more ovulation and the cervical mucus becomes narrower, making it difficult for the sperm to travel in search of an egg. 

Also Read: Best Foods To Lower Estrogen

Birth Control Pills: Consumption Schedule

Now there are quite a few ways and schedules that can be followed to complete a proper dosage cycle of birth control pills. You can consume the pill on the first day of your period. This instantly safeguards a woman from pregnancy and she would need no 2nd choice contraceptive. 

Another option is to instantly pop a pill once you purchase birth control pills, as long as the doctor can re-verify that you are not pregnant as yet. In this process, it can take time for the hormones to build up, thus 2nd choice contraception (condom) must be used for 7 days post the 1st dose. 

The most common pill consumption schedule begins on the first Sunday once menstruation begins. Simply ensure you use one more layer of protection if you land up indulging in sexual activity for up to 7 days post the first Sunday.

How To Take Birth Control Pills?

Each individual must be aware that there are multiple packets with a diverse number of pills. 21, 28, 42, 63 pills, etc and are some of the commonly administered packages. We shall read about how a 28-pill packet must be consumed. If the recommended consumption pattern is not followed, then the desired results cannot be promised.

Thus, to ensure you miss zero doses, either download an application that reminds you or put sticky notes on your fridge for constantly being aware of the same. A 28-pill packet will consist of 21 active hormone pills and 7 inactive hormone pills. These placebos are given as a reminder and must be had on the 4th week of consumption.

One pill a day, every day from the first to the third week, suffices to erase all chances of getting your period:

  • The medical professional will recommend you the best pill consumption cycle. As long as you follow the instructions on the packet and also follow the advice of your doctor, expect no harm, and complete safety from pregnancy. Ideally, the first pill will have to be consumed on a Sunday, the initiating duration of your menstrual cycle.
  • Taking one pill a day is mandatory but taking this pill at the same time every day is even more important as the body needs to adjust to the change in hormonal levels. This consistency makes the body expect a particular action at a fixed time every day. Also, ideally, consuming the pill 30 minutes after dinner makes it an unforgettable time-table. Patients who consume these pills for the first time will experience a feeling of nausea for the first month, but as time passes, these effects wear off. 

Women who prefer consuming the people in the morning before breakfast have often complained of nausea.

  • Once the 28-day pack is over, get back to a new packet of pills the very next day. Remember, the 4th week of the pill cycle will call for the return of your menstrual period.

There are 2 types of birth control pills and the specific type which you choose to consume determines the prescription schedule. Keep reading to have a better idea of these unique types of birth control pills – 

Mini-pills, A.K.A., Progestin-only Pills

These mini-pills must be consumed at the same time every day. Expect to be safe from pregnancy after 2 days of consuming the pill. If you do have sex during the immediate 2 days post-consumption of the pill, then take double protection by using a condom while having intercourse. In the event you miss a dose by 3 or more hours, then for the next 2 days, you must use a condom when indulging in sexual activity.

Combination Pills

These pills are the most common type of hormonal pills due to their effectiveness. They have 2 hormones – Estrogen and Progestin. Ensuring the ovaries do not release an egg is the main priority of combination pills. Now read carefully to fully grasp the situation of combination pills consumption – 

  • Consuming combination pills after a period of 5 days since the beginning of your menstrual cycle guarantees no contraction of pregnancy and instantly safeguards the ovaries from sperms that try and reach them. If you get your period on Wednesday, then as long as you begin taking the pill from Monday you will be guarded against pregnancy.
  • Taking the pill at any other time except for the schedule mentioned above does not guarantee protection and the chances of becoming pregnant are as high as that for a normal person. If you do not follow the instructions in point 1 then consume the pill for 7 days at the same time, before you begin to indulge in unprotected sex. If you do perform intercourse with your partner for these 7 days then make it a point to use condoms or other birth control solutions to avoid a pregnancy scare.

Find yourself in a spot where it has been more than 2 days since your last dose then takes the missed pills from the packet and dispose of them off to avoid any further latency.

Even if you have to consume 2 pills together, go for it, this helps you achieve the desired effectiveness get back on track. Also, because of the 2 days delay, ensure you are making use of a condom for the next 7 days in spite of being on birth control pills.

Also Read: Benefits Of Birth Control Pills Other Than Preventing Pregnancy

Abiding by the above timelines and guidelines proves to be a great decision in the lives of women who do not wish to get pregnant. What better than following the advice of an experienced healthcare provider? Would you rather give birth to an unplanned child during a phase of your life where you have other priorities? Or would you rather enjoy the sexual pleasures in life while it is your time to do so? The choice although obvious in most cases is ultimately yours.