The birth control pill is one of the most widely used methods of contraception. When used as directed, the pill can also be very effective at preventing pregnancy. New birth control pill users may wonder how long it will take for them to no longer need to use alternative methods of contraception. How long does the birth control pill take to work?
How Long Does the Birth Control Pill Take to Work?
According to KidsHealth.org, it generally takes seven days before the birth control can effectively begin working to prevent pregnancy. The pill does not provide immediate protection for pregnancy prevention because the body must absorb the hormones, progesterone and possibly estrogen. The body will not begin preventing pregnancy after one, two, or even three days of taking the birth control pill.
Should You Use Condoms Until the Pill Begins Working?
To prevent pregnancy until the pill begins working, it is ideal to consider using condoms or another barrier method of birth control, such as a diaphragm. There is a chance that you could become pregnant during the first seven days that you are on the pill if you do not use another method of birth control. Remember that the birth control pill does not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), so it is ideal to consider using condoms, depending on your situation, after the seven days are up.
What if You Forget to Take Birth Control Pills?
You might be wondering what you should do if you have forgotten to take your birth control pills properly. The best thing that you can do is refer to the informational packet that is provided with your pills. If you do not have this on hand, visit the specific birth control pill’s website. It is generally recommended that you take the birth control pill the next day, as well as the pill that you would regularly take that day. If you have forgotten more than two pills, you will likely get your menstrual period and will probably be recommended to begin a new pack of birth control pills. Using an alternative method of contraception for the next seven days is an ideal option, as your chances of becoming pregnant during this time do increase.
If you have any questions about how soon your pill will become effective or what to do if you forget a pill, it is ideal to either refer to the birth control informational packet or website and/or contact your healthcare provider. Following your best judgment and using condoms if it seems necessary can help prevent you from becoming pregnant.
KidsHealth.org, “Birth Control Pill.”
WebMD.com, “Missing Birth Control Pills.”