TAKE IT A DAY AT A TIME
The pill is a contraceptive tablet containing hormones that you take once a day. There are different kinds of pill: the combined pill and the ‘mini' pill, as it is called. The combined pill contains estrogen and a progestin, which prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. They also thicken the cervical mucus, which keeps sperm from reaching the egg. The 'mini' pill contains just one hormone, a progestin, which is an alternative for those negatively affected by estrogen.
You should take the pill at the same time each day, whether or not you have sex. Ask your doctor or nurse whether the combined pill is a suitable method of contraception for you based on your medical history, and if it is, which is the best type for you.
FORGOTTEN TO TAKE YOUR PILL?
This missed birth control pill tool is relevant for oral contraceptives containing the female hormone oestrogen and progestogen (COC), and not for pills only containing progestogen (POP or "mini pill”). It is intended as a guide only. Please follow the exact instructions advised by your doctor in conjunction with the Patient Information Leaflet provided with your contraception. If you have any concerns, please consult your doctor or nurse immediately.
How it measures up
EFFICACY WITH PERFECT USE
The pill is self-administered and given with a prescription. When taken perfectly, at the same time each day, the pill is a very effective method of contraception.View ‘Typical’ Use Efficacy Rate
EFFICACY WITH TYPICAL USE
The pill is self-administered and given with a prescription. It needs to be taken at the same time every day, and although we all make mistakes, it is very effective even with typical use.View ‘Perfect’ Use Efficacy Rate
Yes. The hormones in the pill – either a progestin and estrogen, or only a progestin – are released throughout the entire body.
Ease of Use
The pill must be taken at the same time every day, even if you don’t plan to have sex that day.
The pill makes menstrual bleeding even more regular, and may reduce heavy and painful periods.
A missed birth control pill happens to the best of us. For information that may help you decide what to do next, read our guide here, and always speak to your doctor or nurse.
Some medicines, such as antibiotics, may impact the effectiveness of the pill. It's always best to ask your doctor or nurse about possible interactions or interference.
If you don't get your period for more than two months in a row and are concerned you are pregnant, talk to your doctor or nurse immediately.
Some women experience bleeding between periods during the first two months of pill intake, and it usually disappears in the following menstrual cycles. There's usually nothing to worry about, but if this happens on a regular basis and you are worried, consult your doctor or nurse immediately.
Vomiting or experiencing severe diarrhea within the first three to four hours after taking the pill can decrease its efficacy. In this case, an additional pill should be taken within 12 hours as a precaution. This is not necessary if you are taking an 'inactive' pill.
The contraceptive pill was first approved for public use in 1960 in the United States.
Oral contraceptive simply means that this form of contraceptive is a pill that is taken by mouth.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS? Make an appointment with your doctor or nurse today.
Pill taken at the same time every day.
The percentage of women in unions worldwide who use the pill for contraception.
21, 24 or 26?
Pill intake regimens vary based on the number of active ingredient pills versus placebo pills.
- It’s self-administered.
- Allows spontaneity and doesn’t interrupt sex.
- Some women experience lighter periods.
- Many women find it easy to use.
- The pill should be taken at the same time every day to be most effective.
- Some women experience breast tenderness, nausea, headaches, weight gain.
- Suppresses the natural hormone cycle.
- It doesn’t protect against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that meets your needs.