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Birth Control Pills

How Effective Are Mini Pills?

If mini pills are used consistently and correctly, they are about 95% effective -- somewhat less effective than standard 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 containing regular birth control pills have 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 (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.

Some newer pills have only 2 inactive pills or even no inactive pills in the pack. It's important to always take all the pills to be sure you are protected from getting pregnant.

A package of extended-cycle Seasonale contains 84 active pink tablets and seven inactive white pills. With Seasonique and LoSeasonique, the last 7 pills contain estrogen only. 

How Do I Begin Birth Control Pills?

Ask your doctor when you should start birth control pills. If you are still having your period on the day that you have been told to start your pill pack, go ahead and start the pill pack anyway. 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. You can take the pill at anytime during the day, but taking it either before breakfast or at bedtime will help make it easier to remember.

Extended-cycle pills works in a similar way. You start taking the pill the first Sunday after your period starts. If your period starts on a Sunday, start Seasonale that day. Then you take one active tablet a day for 84 consecutive days. Then depending on the type of pill you're taking, you have seven days of taking one placebo or estrogen only pill per day.

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 pill in the old pack.

Start your new pill pack on schedule whether or not you get your period or are still having your period.

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