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Birth Control Pills

Where Can I Get Birth Control Pills?

Birth control pills are only available with a doctor's prescription. 

How Are Birth Control Pills Packaged?

You will receive a set of pills packaged in a thin case. Pill packs contain either 21 or 28 pills. Twenty-one-day pill packs contain 21 active pills. Twenty-eight day pill packs contain 21 active pills and seven inactive pills (placebo pills). The pill packs are marked with the days of the week to remind you to take a pill every day. The seven inactive pills in the 28-day pill pack are added so that you are reminded to start a new pill pack after 28 days.

A package of Seasonale contains 84 active pink tablets and seven inactive white pills.

How Do I Begin Birth Control Pills?

Ask your doctor when you should start birth control pills. If you still have your period on the day that you have been told to start your pill pack, go ahead and start the pill pack. You will get your next period about 25 days after starting the pill pack.

It's best to take the pills at the same time every day. Take the pill each day either before breakfast or at bedtime.

Seasonale works similarly. You begin taking it the first Sunday after your period. If your period starts on a Sunday, start Seasonale that day anyway. Then you take one of the active tablets a day for 84 consecutive days. This is followed with seven days of placebo pills.

When Do I Start Another Birth Control Pill Pack?

You will start each new birth control pill pack on the same day of the week that you initially started it. If you are on the 21-day pill pack, start the new pill pack seven days after you finished the old pill pack. If you are on the 28-day pill pack, begin the new pack after taking the last placebo pill in the old pack.

Start your new pill pack as scheduled above, whether or not you get your period or are still having your period.

How Soon Do Birth Control Pills Work?

When taken as directed, birth control pills are usually effective the first month you begin taking them. To be safe, some doctors recommend the use of another form of birth control, such as condoms and foam, during the first month. After the first month, you can just rely on the pill for birth control.

What If I Forget to Take a Birth Control Pill?

If you forget to take a birth control pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you don't remember until the next day, go ahead and take two pills that day. If you forget to take your pills for two days, take two pills the day you remember and two pills the next day. You will then be back on schedule. If you miss more than two pills, call your doctor. You may be told to take one pill daily until Sunday then start a new pill pack or to discard the rest of the pill pack and start over with a new pack that same day.

WebMD Medical Reference

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