How Long Does Birth Control Pill Stay in Your System?

Table of Contents

How do birth control pills?

Contraceptive pills have a quite understandable effect, serve as one of the most reliable types of contraception. Modern drugs are of two types, the first consists of one hormone – a gestagen, and the second of two hormones – estradiol (estrogen) and gestagen.

In this case, the first recommended for women who are breastfeeding and over the age of 35 years, especially those who have such a bad habit, like smoking.

And the latter are considered drugs of the first choice, are prescribed to most women, since the action of the tablets is the most physiological. Yes, and they cause less side effects than purely progestin. But let’s get everything in order.

Undoubtedly, first of all, the effectiveness of the drug is explained by the gestagen. In most cases, it inhibits ovulation or leads to insufficiency of the second phase of the cycle, the corpus luteum produces very little progesterone, and implantation and development of a fertilized egg becomes impossible.

But you should not worry, the effect of birth control pills in the absolute majority of cases is reversible. That is, immediately or almost immediately after discontinuation of the drug with a menstrual cycle, the woman will be all right, if there are no other problems.

The second hormone, estrogen, prevents the development of a dominant follicle, as well as prevents premature detachment of the endometrium. What helps to avoid intermenstrual secretions.

Although sometimes the principle of action of hormonal contraceptive pills fails, and the body needs to get used to the hormonal contraceptive.

Usually this period of habituation lasts up to three months. If this side effect lasts longer, you need to change the drug. Doctors usually recommend a contraceptive with a high estrogen content. For example, instead of 20 mcg – 30 mcg. Thus, “Longest” can be replaced by “Jeanine” or “Linnet 30”.

This recommendation is usually made if intermenstrual discharge is observed from about 10-12 days, in the middle of the cycle.

When the pill begins, on what day do they become effective? If a woman starts taking the first package of the drug as required by the instructions, that is, from the first day of the cycle, then they work right away.

If the reception started, say, from the fifth day, then the first 7-14 days should be additionally protected, preferably with condoms. This is the answer to the question of when you can not protect yourself after the start of taking birth control pills.without fear of getting pregnant.

By the way, the contraceptive effect of the drug is preserved in the seven-day break in its reception, during which menstruation begins.

It turns out that’s how birth control pills work during this time period – the woman does not take them, but is reliably protected from unwanted pregnancy.

This is the so-called sterile period, when a woman cannot conceive even when she is taking pills. This knowledge is used to protect the calendar method. But he, of course, is much less reliable than hormonal contraceptives.

How long do birth control pills work , what happens if you miss a dose?

The effect of one taken pill is fully preserved for 24 hours. Then over the next 12 hours, the contraceptive effect is slightly reduced, but remains sufficient.

And after it begins to fall sharply, there is a chance of intermenstrual bleeding and conceiving a child. How to proceed with the missed tablet can be found in the instructions for the drug.

How Long Does Birth Control Pill Stay in Your System?

Its effects 24-48 hours. Not long. Be careful. It takes 3 months for all contraceptive medication to be completely eradicated from your system.

What are oral contraceptives?

How Long Does Birth Control Pill Stay in Your System?

The term “oral contraceptives” – means birth control pills that contain female sex hormones and are intended for oral administration (through the mouth).

There are 2 main types of birth control pills:

  1. combined oral contraceptives (monophasic, biphasic, three phase) that contain two types of female sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone
  2. contraceptives that contain only progesterone (mini-pili).

Below, answering various questions regarding the use of birth control pills, we will use the terms

  • Contraceptive pills or oral contraceptives – when it comes to combined oral contraceptives and “mini-drank”
  • Combined oral contraceptives – when it comes to only drugs of this type
  • Mini-drank – when it comes to only drugs of this type

If you do not know which pill you are taking, read the instructions carefully. There must be indicated to which group of drugs your birth control pills belong and which active substances they contain.

Combined monophasic, biphasic or triphasic hormonal contraceptives (COCs) may contain a combination of the following substances:

1 of Estrogen types:

+ 1 of the Progestogen Progestogen types

  • Norethindrone
  • Norethindrone Acetate
  • Norgestrel
  • Ethynodiol diacetate
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Norgestimate
  • Desogestrel
  • Drospirenone

If your tablets contain only progestin (progestin), for example, Norethindrone. This means the drug from the group of “mini-drank.”

How do birth control pills prevent pregnancy?

The possibility of pregnancy development appears only at the time of the meeting of the female reproductive cell (egg) with the male reproductive cell (sperm cell).

If you are wondering exactly how conception occurs, open our article Questions about conception.

Birth control pills prevent the development of pregnancy by suppressing the ability of the ovaries of a woman to secrete eggs, as well as by obstructing the movement of spermatozoa to a place where they can fertilize an egg.

How effective are birth control pills in protecting against unwanted pregnancy?

Birth control pills are one of the most effective methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy.

If you take the pills correctly (regularly and without breaks) your chances of getting pregnant within 1 year are less than 1%.

Cases of pregnancy on the background of oral contraceptives are usually not associated with a lack of effectiveness of the drugs themselves, but a violation of their mode of administration.

Only hormonal implants and intrauterine devices can be more reliable than contraceptive pills (for more information on these means, see Contraceptives). The likelihood of pregnancy within 1 year of using these funds is on average from 0.1% to 1%.

All other methods of protection are much less effective than birth control pills.

The basic rules for long-term use of combined contraceptive pills:

Before you start taking birth control pills, you need to consult a gynecologist to help you evaluate how safe it is for you to take these medicines.

If the doctor thinks that taking birth control pills is safe for you-you can use them as the main method of contraception.

During the taking of birth control pills, it is necessary to contact the gynecologist at least once a year to re-examine and assess the possibility of continuing the use of birth control pills.

If during the next examination, the doctor finds that taking birth control pills has become dangerous for you (for example, if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, breast nodes, etc.), you will have to stop taking contraceptives.
If the doctor says that everything is in order, you can continue to use the pill without a break.

If you regularly visit a doctor, there is absolutely no need to take breaks in order for “the body to rest from the pills” and fear that due to the long-term use of birth control pills in the future you will not be able to have children.

The so-called “rest breaks” are usually poorly tolerated by women, since after they stop taking birth control pills and after they are taken again, they usually follow a period of adaptation of the body to the new schedule of sex hormones, which is accompanied by known adverse reactions.

Unlike combined oral contraceptives, mini-pills contain only gestagen and do not contain estrogen, which makes possible the development of osteoporosis. in case of long-term use of these drugs.

In this regard, they are used much less frequently than COCs, mainly during the breastfeeding period or with intolerance to conventional combined contraceptive pills.

The duration of progestin-only contraceptives is determined by the attending physician. If your doctor has prescribed this medicine for you, be sure to ask him how long you can take it.

Postponement of menstruation by extending the use of combined birth control pills

At certain moments of life (for example, sea vacation, wedding, honeymoon, etc.), many women would like to delay the appearance of menstruation.

The need to delay the arrival of menstruation or to make it more rare (for example, only 3-4 times a year) may also arise if:

  • Monthly flow very painful
  • During your period, you lose a lot of blood, which is why you have constant anemia.
  • During your menstrual period, you experience a lot of severe symptoms: severe headache, mood changes, weakness, a significant decrease in performance
  • During your menstrual period, other diseases (asthma, epilepsy, migraine, etc.) become more acute.

Women who take combined oral contraceptives have the opportunity to control the moment of arrival of menstruation and, if necessary, to delay them.

It is known that COCs contain female sex hormones, which, by ingesting a woman, block the appearance of menstruation. Therefore, if you continue to take birth control pills without a break, your period will not start.

Many women are afraid of “experimenting” with birth control pills, considering them unsafe for health, however, nowadays, more and more doctors are recommending the prolonged use of combined contraceptive pills, especially as a solution to the above problems.

Some foreign pharmaceutical companies produce special birth control pills for long-term use (Seasonique, Lybrel).

How does prolonged birth control pills affect health?

Modern studies have shown that prolonged courses of birth control pills are almost the same as efficacy and safety pills for efficacy and safety and, in some cases, may have an additional positive effect on a woman’s health.

In particular, the extended COC courses allow you to:

  • significantly reduce blood loss associated with menstruation
  • Significantly improve the quality of life for women, eliminating pain, feeling unwell and other problems associated with the monthly recurrence of menstruation.
  • Significantly reduce the likelihood of error in taking COCs (most women miss not one of the pills in the middle of the course, but, as a rule, the first pill of one of the courses, which increases their likelihood of conception);

Menstruation is fully restored within the first 1-2 months after discontinuation of the prolonged use of contraceptive pills;

More than 80% of women manage to become pregnant within 1 year after discontinuing the prolonged use of contraceptives.

For the health of a woman, it is not at all necessary that her period should be every month. The usual 7 daily breaks, which are usually divided into a series of receiving the combined contraceptive pills have the following meaning:

First, they are needed in order to monitor whether there is a pregnancy. As you know, while taking birth control pills, the probability of pregnancy is very low, but it still exists. In this regard, if after you stop taking the next KOK series, you do not start bleeding like during menstruation, there is every reason to believe that you are pregnant, therefore you need to stop taking KOK and consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Secondly, menstruation breaks are needed for the psychological comfort of women taking COCs (many women are afraid of the disappearance of menstruation).

How to prolong the use of birth control pills to manage menstruation?

In order to postpone the appearance of menstruation (including about some important event for you), it is best to proceed as follows:

If you are taking monophasic contraceptive pills with 21 pills per pack:

Take all (21) pills from the first pack and start taking the pills from the new pack without stopping. Even if you need to postpone the monthly only for a few days – it is better to take the entire package. After you take the last pill from the second pack, take a break for 7 days (but not more!) And start taking the pills again (in the usual way).

If you are taking monophasic contraceptive pills with 28 pills per pack:

Take the first 21 pills from the first pack and start taking the pills from the new pack without stopping. The remaining 7 tablets from the old package can be discarded. Take all (28) pills from new packaging. During the period when you will take the last 7 tablets from a new package, you will have to start your period. As soon as you finish taking the pills from 2 packs – start taking pills from the third pack in the usual way.

Why take 2 courses of pills if I need to postpone my period by just a few days?

To take in a row 2 packs of contraceptives is the easiest and most cost-effective way.

However, if you need to postpone your period for only a few days and you are afraid to postpone the month for a whole month, of course, it is not at all necessary to take all the tablets from the second package. You can do the following:

A.) You can take only as many tablets as you need, and then take a break of 7 days.

After the break, you will need not only to “finish” the remaining tablets, but also to take additional tablets (from the new package) so that the total course is 21 active tablets.

This means that for example, if you have 18 pills left from your last pack, you will need to take them and then 3 more pills from the new pack. If you take only 18 pills, this will mean that you have missed the last 3 pills, which means you can get pregnant.

C) you can take the number of pills you need to postpone, and then just throw away the remaining pills and, after a 7-day break, start taking the pills from the new package. It is very simple, but not economical.

If you are taking three phase contraceptive pills

Method 1: after you have taken all (21) active pills from the first pack of a three-phase contraceptive, without a break, start taking pills “from the last phase” of a new pack (the remaining pills can be discarded). This will delay the appearance of menstruation for 7-10 days.

After a 7 day break during which menstruation should begin, you need to start taking contraceptives according to the usual pattern.

Method 2: after you take all (21) pills from a pack of contraceptives, without a break, start taking pills from a pack of monophasic contraceptives, 1 tablet of which contains the amount of hormones equivalent or close to the hormone content of 1 tablet from the last phase of your three-phase contraceptive.

In order to determine how much hormones are contained in your birth control pills, read the instructions attached to them.

What should you pay attention to if you decide to start a prolonged use of birth control pills?

Before you begin the prolonged use of birth control pills (especially if you would like to make your period more rare, for example, once every 2-3 months), it is best to consult a gynecologist. This will help minimize the risk of side effects.

After the start of prolonged use of birth control pills, you may experience slight spotting from the vagina, but this should not cause concern. As your body gets used to the new regimen of birth control pills, or after you return to the usual regimen of birth control pills, the spotting will disappear.

The appearance of spotting is especially likely if you smoke, if you miss taking 1 pill, if you started treatment with some other medicines (for example, antibiotics)

Be sure to consult your doctor if, despite the regular intake of birth control pills, your irregular spotting continues for a long time.

Extended courses of birth control pills prescribed by a doctor

As mentioned above, many doctors support the idea of prolonged use of birth control pills and prescribe it to solve some problems.

Usually, doctors recommend a gradual increase in the duration of COCs. First, a woman takes 2 courses (6 weeks) in a row. then after the break, 3 courses (9 weeks) in a row, then after the break, 4 courses (12 weeks) in a row, and then 4 weeks after each break.

In some cases, doctors recommend reducing the interval between paired courses to 3-4 days.

How to switch from one pill to another pill?

You cannot change some pills to others of your own free will, even if it seems to you that you have good reasons for this and your familiar women have already done so. It is much safer and safer to discuss the transition to new contraceptives with your doctor, who picked up the first contraceptive pills for you.

In case the package of combined contraceptives that you take contains 21 pills: take the last pill out of the package and wait 7 days. During the 7 day break, you will have to start and go through the following periods.

Start taking new contraceptives in exactly 7 days (from the first active pill), even if by this time your periods have not yet run out.

If the package of combined contraceptives that you take contains 28 pills: take the last pill from the pack, and the next day at the same time, start taking the new contraceptive from the first active pill.

A correct transition from one pill to another does not usually lead to a decrease in protection against unwanted pregnancy, so additional methods of contraception are not needed in this case.

Quite often, the transition from one pill to another causes the appearance of various adverse reactions (nausea, headaches, spotting from the vagina) that usually pass quickly and do not require discontinuation of contraceptives.

What happens if monophasic contraceptive pills are replaced by three-phase pills?

Switching from monophasic to three-phase contraceptives will not disrupt your protection against unwanted pregnancy, but it is rather difficult to predict exactly how your body will react to such a transition. At first, after changing one pill to another, nausea, vomiting, and poor bleeding may occur, however, as a rule, these side effects quickly disappear.

Switching from combined oral contraceptives to mini-pills

If the package of combined contraceptives (KOK) 21 pills – you need to start taking a mini-drank the next day after taking the last pill from the package of KOK.

If the package contains 28 pills of COC, you need to start taking the mini-drank the next day after taking 21 tablets from the COC package and discard the remaining 7 tablets.

Switching from mini-pill to combined oral contraceptives

To switch from birth control pills that contain only progestins to combination birth control pills, take the first COC pill on the first day of your period, even if you have not finished taking the mini-pill package by this point.

Switching from one type of mini-drink to another

In order to switch from one type of mini-drink to another – on any day you just need to stop taking the old drug and start taking a new one.

How to switch from birth control pills to other contraceptives?

How do I switch from birth control pills to vaginal rings?

In order to switch from birth control pills to hormonal birth control rings, you need to:

If you are taking contraceptives with 28 pills per pack: insert a hormonal ring into the vagina the day after you took the last pill from the pack

If you are taking contraceptives with 21 pills per pack: insert a hormonal ring into the vagina 7 days after you took the last pill from the pack.

Both in the first and in the second case there is no need to use additional methods of concentration. A reliable contraceptive effect is established from the first day of wearing the vaginal ring.

What can happen if you take too many birth control pills at once?

Taking even a large number of birth control pills usually does not cause any serious adverse reactions in children or adults.

In women, taking several birth control pills at a time can lead to nausea and bloody vaginal discharge in a few days.

Despite the fact that overdose of oral contraceptives is usually not dangerous, be sure to tell your doctor about it.

Is it possible to combine birth control pills with other medicines?

Some drugs can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, regarding protection against unwanted pregnancy.

A significant decrease in the effectiveness of birth control pills is observed during treatment with rifampicin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenylbutazone, phenytoin, topiramate, ampicillin.

Before prescribing or starting any new medications, be sure to tell your doctors that you are taking birth control pills and carefully read the instructions for the medication.

If the doctor tells you (or if you read the instructions for the medication) that using the drug you are prescribed may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives — use additional methods of contraception during treatment with this drug.

What should I do if I forgot to take one or more pills?

To maintain a reliable contraceptive effect, birth control pills need to be taken every day at the same time. Below is what you need to do if you forget to take one or more pills.

What if during a vacation or vacation I forgot to take my birth control pills with me?

In this case, it is best to buy the same contraceptives as soon as possible at your nearest pharmacy and continue taking them on schedule.

Abroad, the names of contraceptives may differ from the names of exactly such drugs that are sold in your country, so to buy the right drug, you need to know which active substances and in what dosage it contains.

In many countries, you will not agree to sell birth control pills without a doctor’s prescription. In this case, you will have to use other non-hormonal contraceptives during the entire vacation (see contraceptive methods)

A few days after abrupt discontinuation of the pill may cause bloody discharge from the vagina. This is normal.

What if I forgot to take 1 active pill of combined oral contraceptive pills?

Pills that contain hormones are active:

  • In packs with 21 tablets, these are all tablets.
  • In packs with 28 tablets, any of the first 21 tablets is active.

For monophasic, biphasic and three-phase COCs

  1. Take the missed pill as soon as possible, even if you have to take two pills (missed and next) at the same time.
  2. Additional contraceptive methods, in this case, do not need to use.

What should I do if I forgot to take 2 active COC tablets?

For monophasic and biphasic contraceptives:

  • Take 2 pills at a time when you remember that you missed pills and 2 pills the next day.
  • Then take 1 tablet per day, until you take the last pill from the package. New packaging should start as usual.

In the first 7 days after skipping 2 pills, you can get pregnant. For this reason, during this period, it is necessary to use additional methods of contraception.

For three phase contraceptives:

It all depends on which week the tablet was missed.

  • Take 2 pills at a time when you remember that you missed pills and 2 pills the next day.
  • Then take 1 tablet per day, until you take the last pill from the package. New packaging should start as usual.

In the first 7 days after skipping 2 pills, you can get pregnant. For this reason, during this period, it is necessary to use additional methods of contraception.

  • If you missed 2 or more pills from 3 weeks – throw away the remaining pills and start taking pills from a new pack on the same day.

In the first 7 days after skipping 2 pills, you can get pregnant. For this reason, during this period, it is necessary to use additional methods of contraception.

What if I forgot to take 3 or more active COC tablets?

For monophasic, biphasic and triphasic contraceptives

  • throw away the remaining pills and start taking pills from the new pack.

In the first 7 days after skipping 3 or more birth control pills and starting a new pack of medication, you can become pregnant. For this reason, during this period, it is necessary to use additional methods of contraception.

What if you forgot to take 1 or more inactive tablets?

Skipping one or even all of the last 7 tablets from a 28-pill package in a pack of COCs is not in danger. These are not active pills that do not contain hormones. In this situation, protection from unwanted pregnancy is not reduced and you do not need to use additional methods of contraception.

What should I do if I missed taking 1 or several pills with gestagens (“mini-pili”)?

If it was less than 3 hours from the moment you were supposed to take the mini-pill pill: take the missed pill as soon as you remember it, and take the next pill according to the set schedule.

If more than 3 hours have passed since the moment you were supposed to take a pill. Take the missed pill as soon as you remember it, and take the following pills according to the set schedule.

Because a delay of more than 3 hours greatly reduces the effectiveness of protection against pregnancy in the next 7 days, it is necessary to use additional methods of contraception (for example, condoms).

If it’s difficult for you to remember every day that you need to take a pill, try to associate a pill with something you do every day (for example, brushing your teeth) or set up your mobile phone so that it reminds you daily of this

What should I do if I took the first pill from a new pack 1 day later than expected?

In this case, you should assume that you missed one pill. In order to remedy the situation, follow the recommendations outlined above, depending on the type of contraceptive you are taking.

How to stop taking birth control pills?

If you are taking birth control pills to protect against unwanted pregnancy, you can stop taking them whenever you want. You can stop taking birth control pills at any time without even finishing packing.

If you have taken birth control pills for several days or weeks, then abandoning them will most likely cause bleeding that will resemble menstruation, but may be less abundant and more prolonged. This is completely normal. Usually such bleeding disappears within 1-2 weeks. If you notice that your bleeding continues for more than 2–3 weeks or becomes more and more abundant – consult a doctor.

Immediately after discontinuation of birth control pills, there is a possibility of pregnancy, therefore, if you do not plan a child, use other methods of contraception.

How long can it take to restore menstruation and the possibility of having children after taking the pill?

Usually, full recovery of menstruation and the ability of a woman to conceive a child after discontinuation of oral contraceptives is observed for a period ranging from several months to 1 year. If your period has been irregular before you start taking oral contraceptives, it is likely that restoring the ability to conceive a child will take a little longer. In any case, there is no cause for concern if you were unable to conceive a child during the first 6–9 months after giving up contraception.

Consult a doctor if:

  • half a year after discontinuing the pill, you never had a period.
  • a year after you stop taking birth control pills, you still haven’t managed to conceive a child.

Is it possible to get pregnant immediately after discontinuation of birth control pills? How can the recent intake of oral contraceptives affect a child’s development?

Yes, immediately after cessation of birth control pills can become pregnant, but this does not happen in all cases. The occurrence of pregnancy immediately after taking the pill is safe for both the baby and the mother. Many experts recommend to start planning a pregnancy after the appearance of one or more menstruation, after the end of taking the pill.

Questions about the adverse effects of the use of birth control pills

In addition to dangerous complications, which are rare (see above), taking birth control pills can be accompanied by many different side effects that do not pose a serious threat to a woman’s health, but may cause her some inconvenience.

Below we will show what to do in the event of the appearance of certain side effects associated with contraceptives.

What should I do if I get bleeding while taking birth control pills?

Irregular spotting from the vagina is a frequent side effect of taking oral contraceptives. Usually, bleeding stops during the first 3-4 months of regular medication.

If your discharge continues for more than 3 months – consult your doctor. The doctor can replace the medicine with another, more suitable for you, or even completely cancel the use of contraceptives.

Do not stop taking the pill on your own. In order to speed up the cessation of bleeding – try to take pills regularly and try to quit smoking (if you smoke).

A detailed description of other possible causes of abnormal bleeding from the vagina is presented in the article Abnormal bleeding.

After the start of taking the pill, my monthly periods became scant and short. This is normal?

Yes, this is perfectly normal and should not cause concern. While taking oral contraceptives, the uterine mucosa becomes thinner than usual and therefore less blood is discharged during menstruation than before the start of birth control pills.

After starting the pill, I got nausea. What you can do for its elimination ?

Nausea is a common side effect of taking birth control pills. For most women, nausea gradually subsides during the first 3 months of contraceptive use. In order to reduce nausea, try taking pills after meals or at bedtime.

If nausea continues for more than 3 months – consult a doctor.

What to do if after starting the pill I noticed an increase in body weight and swelling?

Many women believe that oral contraceptives, being hormonal, lead to a rapid and uncontrolled increase in body weight due to the accumulation of fat. In fact, this is absolutely not the case. Contraceptive pills contain hormones that are identical in quantity and structure to the hormones that are produced in the body of every healthy woman and therefore have little or no effect on appetite and fat metabolism.

The main reason for weight gain while taking birth control pills is water retention in the body. Fluid retention may be several kilograms, and this may explain the sharp, but slight increase in body weight after the start of taking birth control pills.

If you have noticeable edema while taking birth control pills, you should consult a doctor.

What to do if, after taking contraceptives, I noticed a change in skin color and the appearance of age spots?

Some women after the start of birth control pills on the skin (especially on the skin of the face) appear dark pigment spots (melasma), which can persist for a long time.

If a change in skin color bothers you, tell your doctor about it. It is possible that in this case the doctor will advise you to stop taking contraceptives.

What can mean a delay in menstruation while taking birth control pills and what needs to be done about this?

A slight delay in menstruation may occur even with regular use of birth control pills.
If you have taken birth control pills regularly and without interruption since the last menstrual period and noticed a monthly delay, continue taking the pills, as if there were monthly ones.

If, since the last month, you have had situations in which the occurrence of pregnancy was possible:

  • You had unprotected sex a few weeks or days before you started taking birth control pills.
  • You had unprotected sex in the first days after you started taking birth control pills.
  • You had unprotected sex for 7 days after you missed 2 or more KOK tablets or 1 mini-pill tablet

Stop taking birth control pills until you are sure you are not pregnant. Detailed recommendations regarding the detection of pregnancy are presented in the articles: Signs of pregnancy. Pregnancy test .

Before you determine whether there is a pregnancy, use other methods of contraception (for example, condoms).

Other side effects of taking oral contraceptives

At the beginning of taking birth control pills, many wives note nausea, dizziness, increased appetite, headaches, irritability. These symptoms usually disappear quickly and do not require any special treatment or stopping the use of contraceptives.

Tolerability of birth control pills strongly depends on the psychological attitude of the woman to the fact of taking these drugs. In cases where the decision to take birth control pills is made by their desire to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, women usually tolerate contraceptive use well and put up with their side effects until they disappear.

If, for example, birth control pills are prescribed to a woman by a doctor whose competence a woman is not sure of, or if a woman has a formed negative attitude towards oral contraceptives as “dangerous hormones” before starting treatment, then from the very beginning of taking these drugs a woman may notice a whole a number of pronounced side effects, which in a short time are likely to make her stop taking them.

I heard that birth control pills help against acne. Is this true ?

This is true, however, not for all contraceptives. A detailed description of the treatment of acne with oral contraceptives is presented in the article: Acne and black dots.

Can taking birth control pills to affect test results?

Yes, birth control pills can affect the results of some blood and urine tests, so if you have any tests, be sure to tell your doctor that you are taking contraceptives.

Questions about the possibility of developing pregnancy while taking birth control pills

Despite the fact that oral contraceptives very effectively protect against unwanted pregnancy, in a number of cases, the occurrence of pregnancy while taking these drugs is possible.

Below we will show exactly when you can get pregnant while taking birth control pills and what to do if you think you might have gotten pregnant.

In what case is pregnancy possible while taking oral contraceptives?

As mentioned above, the occurrence of pregnancy while taking oral contraceptives is possible in the following situations:

  • You had unprotected sex a few weeks or days before you started taking birth control pills.
  • You had unprotected sex in the first days after you started taking birth control pills.
  • You had unprotected sex for 7 days after you missed 2 or more COC tablets or 1 mini-pill tablet.

If you think that the occurrence of pregnancy in your case is possible – immediately stop taking birth control pills.

In order to verify the presence or absence of pregnancy – do a pregnancy test. Detailed recommendations on how to make a pregnancy test correctly and what its results may mean are presented in the article: Pregnancy test. See also Signs of pregnancy.

Is it possible to get pregnant during the 7-day break between two cycles of taking the combined contraceptive pill?

Provided that the birth control pill is taken regularly throughout the month (I mean combination drugs with 21 pills in a pack), the seven-day break “for periods,” which must be done between two cycles of taking medicine, is completely safe regarding an unwanted pregnancy.

This means that during the break for 7 days between the end of one package and the beginning of another package of birth control pills, there is almost no possibility of pregnancy and therefore no additional contraceptive methods should be used during this period.

While taking 7 inactive tablets (from CBS with 28 tablets), the probability of getting pregnant also does not increase.

Is it possible to prevent pregnancy from unprotected sex, which was during the period when I missed 1 or more pills?

If unprotected sex occurred in the first 7 days after you missed 2 or more KOK tablets or 1 mini-pill tablet, you could become pregnant.

To prevent the development of an unwanted pregnancy as soon as possible (you have no more than 72 hours), contact your doctor to prescribe an emergency contraceptive for you.

Detailed recommendations on how to avoid unwanted pregnancy in the first days after unprotected sex are presented in the article: Emergency contraception.

Questions about taking birth control pills during pregnancy or breastfeeding

The rules for taking birth control pills during pregnancy and breastfeeding are very different from those for ordinary women. Below, we discuss the most important issues related to the connection between pregnancy, breastfeeding and the use of birth control pills.

Can I take birth control pills if I suspect that I may be pregnant?

At the present time, it is completely unknown whether taking oral contraceptives in early pregnancy can cause impairment of fetal development. In this regard, any birth control pills are strictly prohibited during pregnancy.

If you think that the occurrence of pregnancy in your case is possible – immediately stop taking birth control pills.

In order to verify the presence or absence of pregnancy – do a pregnancy test. Detailed recommendations on how to make a pregnancy test correctly and what its results may mean are presented in the article: Pregnancy test. See also Signs of pregnancy.

What can happen if I took birth control pills in the first weeks of pregnancy?

As mentioned above, the effect of birth control pills on the development of a child in the first weeks of pregnancy has not been studied enough. Nevertheless, even if after several weeks of taking oral contraceptives you find out that you are expecting a child, there is no good reason to believe that something bad happened to the child.

In this case, be sure to tell your doctor that you took birth control pills in the first weeks of pregnancy.

The doctor may prescribe special examinations that will help you determine the condition of the child and decide on the possibility of maintaining the pregnancy.

For the body of the pregnant woman herself, the use of contraceptives in the first weeks of pregnancy poses no danger, but can be dangerous in late pregnancy, immediately after delivery or after an abortion or miscarriage in the second trimester (the risk of blood clots increases).

Taking birth control pills after childbirth

Due to the risk of blood clots in the vessels, birth control pills are strictly prohibited in the first 1-2 months after delivery.

At the end of the first month after childbirth, be sure to consult a gynecologist to discuss what methods of contraception you can use further. Perhaps the doctor will advise you to use mini-drank or intrauterine device.

Remember that already a few months after birth, even before the first menstrual period, a new pregnancy is possible (including in nursing women).

Is it possible to take birth control pills while breastfeeding?

Hormones from the combined contraceptive pill can penetrate breast milk and with it into the body of a child. For this reason, the use of combined birth control pills during breastfeeding is strictly prohibited.

Birth control pills, which contain only progestins, can be used during breastfeeding without any risk to the baby and mother, however, not earlier than 6 weeks after birth.

Can I take birth control pills at the same time as other drugs?

The doctor prescribing you pharmacological treatment should know that you are taking hormonal contraceptive drugs.

Many medications affect the function of the liver or intestines, thereby making it difficult to absorb OK. Such drugs include antipsychotics, psychotropic, anticonvulsant, anti-tuberculosis drugs, certain antibiotics, painkillers and some others.

Large doses of paracetamol and vitamin C can increase the amount of hormones circulating in the blood and cause chest pain, nausea and vomiting.

If there is a temporary need to take drugs that can reduce the level of hormones in the blood, then for this period it is recommended to use additional contraceptives.
If necessary, the constant use of such drugs should be with the help of a doctor to pick up other pills or switch to another method of contraception.

Can I drink alcohol while taking birth control pills?

Alcohol does not reduce the effectiveness of OK. However, there is evidence that alcohol in the blood of women taking OK, lasts longer than women who do not use hormonal contraception. Thus, hormonal contraceptives lengthen the effect of alcohol intoxication.

Do birth control pills during vomiting or diarrhea?

Vomiting and diarrhea are considered tantamount to skipping the pill, because the drug is not absorbed by the body. Nausea and vomiting sometimes occur in the initial period of taking OK, as well as in the first days of taking the tablets from each subsequent package.

If vomiting began 3 hours after taking the pill, then you should not worry about the contraceptive effect – the drug has already been absorbed.

If vomiting has occurred before the expiration of 3 hours from the time of taking OK, then you need to take the same pill from the backup package. The tablet should correspond to the day of the cycle.

Is it true that if you take contraceptive pills, you can become fat?

Acceptance of pure progestin drugs may be accompanied by an increase in body weight. When taking COCs, only two people out of a hundred have a slight weight gain of 1-3 kg. Modern low-dose COCs, as a rule, do not affect body weight. Such a drug as Yarina, according to the manufacturers, on the contrary, contributes to weight loss.

Is it true that birth control pills affect excessive hair growth?

Some young women worry about the growth of hair on the thighs, chest, face. This is due to the increased content of male sex hormones in their bodies. Contraceptive pills that have an anti-androgenic effect, primarily Diane-35, can really help in solving this problem. But remember that excessive hair growth on the body of a woman is not just a cosmetic problem, but a disease that needs treatment.

Why did the doctor prescribe birth control pills for acne to a 16-year-old girl who does not yet have sex?

Among 16-year-olds, about 95% of boys and 83% of girls suffer from acne due to the increased greasiness of the skin (acne from a scientific point of view).

The cause of acne, as well as seborrhea, furunculosis, excessive hairiness and baldness in girls is the increased production in the body of male sex hormones during puberty (see above).

Such modern COCs as Tri-Merci, Janine, Marvelon, Mersilon, Regulon, Nominet, Yarin are considered the best treatment for acne and seborrhea in young women. So the doctor was not mistaken, appointing the girl to COC.

When to start taking birth control pills after childbirth, and is it possible to drink COC during breastfeeding?

During breastfeeding, taking COCs is not recommended due to estrogens, which affect the quantity and quality of breast milk. But during this period, you can use the injection drug Depo-Prover or OK, which do not include estrogens (Charozetta, mini-pill tablets).

If a woman does not breastfeed, then her first ovulation may occur approximately 4-6 weeks after delivery. To receive OK, you can start from the 6th week after birth, without waiting for menstruation. Until that time, doctors recommend refraining from intimate relationships.

What should I do if a tablet falls out of the pack and is lost?

It is advisable always to have a backup package OK in the first-aid kit, from which, if necessary, you can take a pill similar to the one that was lost.

What if a child accidentally swallows a contraceptive pill?

It is necessary to do a gastric lavage as quickly as possible. A child may have nausea and vomiting. In a girl, hormonal pills can cause uterine bleeding. Do not forget that you need to keep any medicine out of the reach of small children!

In case of violations of the pill mode increases the likelihood of pregnancy. If menstruation was not 2 months in a row, do not start a new package until the doctor eliminates pregnancy. Studies have shown that taking birth control pills in the early stages of pregnancy is not dangerous for the fetus, and there has been no increase in the incidence of fetal developmental defects.

After the abortion, the doctor recommended that I abstain from sexual activity for 2 weeks, and at the same time appointed Regulon.

Why should I take it if I do not live sexually?

Hormonal contraception helps to prevent not only abortions, but also the complications that follow them. Considering the high risk of post-abortion complications in women, it is necessary for rehabilitation on the first or second day after abortion to start taking monophasic COCs (Regulon, Mikroginon, Marvelon) and continue treatment 2 -3 months.

According to academician V.N. Serov, the use of COC immediately after an abortion reduces the number of inflammatory complications, reduces bleeding, contributes to the regulation of the menstrual cycle.

Can I switch to taking COCs with a different hormone content?

If you switch to a COC with the same or higher hormone content, then, after finishing the packaging of the old drug, after a 7-day break, you should start packaging the new drug.

If you switch to COC with a lower hormone content, the contraceptive effect will temporarily decrease. Having finished taking pills with a higher dose of hormones, start taking pills with a lower dose of hormones without a 7-day break. After taking 21 pills, take a 7-day break, then proceed to the next package in the usual way.

Can I protect myself with oral contraceptives for deep vein thrombosis?

With deep vein thrombosis, OK is absolutely contraindicated. You need to carefully monitor the condition of the veins of the lower extremities and with the help of a gynecologist choose another method of contraception.

Should I stop taking birth control pills while my husband is on a business trip?

If the husband has left for a whole year or more, and you know that you will not have intimate relationships during this time, you can stop taking OK until his return.

If separation is planned for 2-3 months, then it is not recommended to interrupt the reception of OK – do not force your body to rebuild for such a short period.

When is it best to stop taking birth control pills to get pregnant?

After giving up hormonal contraception, the ability to conceive is restored on average in 1-3 months. Despite the fact that science has proven safety for the fetus, it is still recommended that, after canceling OK, wait with a pregnancy for one to three monthly cycles to fully restore fertility. During this period, protect yourself with condoms or a biological method.

What if the pills run out, and there are no such drugs in the pharmacy?

If you show the packaging of your pills at the pharmacy, the pharmacist will select a contraceptive preparation close to you in terms of hormonal composition.

For example, instead of Mikroginona you can offer Rigevidon. Do not take birth control pills of unknown composition and action, even if your friend takes them.

How long can you use hormonal contraception?

So long as there is a need for contraception. The opinion that exists among the population about the danger of the long-term use of hormonal contraceptives is considered to be unfounded today.

According to scientific studies, hormonal contraceptives have a beneficial effect on the female body, which increases with the duration of their use.

The frequency of subsequent infertility in women who used hormonal contraceptives was hundreds of times less than their peers who had abortions and did not use contraceptives.

At the same time, specialists know that during two or three months of interruption in taking pills, unwanted pregnancy occurs in every fourth woman, which makes all previous contraceptive efforts meaningless. However,