A woman should not use the pill if she has history of:
There is no exact formula to determine which particular pill is best for you-every woman responds differently to different pills. Despite advertising, essentially all oral contraceptives work equivalently well. For you, the best pill is the one with the least amount of estrogen that does the job. In addition to protecting you from pregnancy, the pill should regulate your periods and some women do need more estrogen for this purpose. Price is another consideration. Most pills are $25-$35 or more per month. Many health insurance prescription plans do not cover birth control pills. The more popular, better-advertised pills can be more expensive. There are equally effective and appropriate pills for you that are less expensive.
Many of the side effects from the pill are due to the estrogen component and usually resolve within the first few months of starting the pill. Thus, new pill starters are encouraged to try the pill for at least 3 months.
You must wait for your next period to ensure that you are NOT pregnant when you start the pill. You can start EITHER:
Day-1 start: on the first day of bleeding
Sunday start: on the Sunday following the first day of bleeding
If you start the pill on a Sunday you will NOT get your period on the weekend. If you start the pill within the first five days of your period you will be protected from pregnancy that first month and not need a back-up method. You can use the following regimen to benefit from a Sunday Start and still have immediate protection from pregnancy. If your period starts on a Monday or Tuesday, this regimen will shorten your cycle by one or two days, which is not harmful to you. Then start your next and all subsequent pill packs on the Sunday following completion of the prior pack.
If you miss any of the inactive pills throw out all pills missed. If you miss any of the hormonally active pills:
Missed 1 pill in any week. Take the missed pill NOW and the next pill at the usual time (this may entail taking 2 pills now). You will be protected from pregnancy but may have some breakthrough bleeding or spotting for the remainder of the pill pack. This should resolve when you start your next pack.
Missed 2 pills in week 1 or 2. Take 2 pills NOW and 2 pills tomorrow. Then take 1 pill a day until you finish the pack. Use a backup method of contraception (i.e. condom) for the next 7 days. Again you may have some bleeding or spotting for the remainder of the pill pack.
Missed 2 pills in week 3 or missed 3 or more pills. For Day-1 Start: Throw out pack. Start new pack the same day. Use a backup method for 7 days. For Sunday Start: Take 1 pill each day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the old pack and start a new pack. Use a backup method for 7 days.
If you do miss 2 or more pills and are concerned you may be pregnant, emergency contraception or the “morning-after pill” is available. This must be taken within 72 hours (or 3 days) of unprotected intercourse. You may call the office to receive this form of contraception. Of note, this is only intended for occasional use and not as a regular method of birth control.