When to start birth control

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Starting birth control pills – The basics

Naturally, most people would prefer to begin taking their birth control pills as soon as they receive them. In short, it is entirely acceptable to start taking your birth control pills at any point during your cycle. However, starting your first birth control pill in a more strategic fashion can also be beneficial.

When should I start the birth control pill?

There are a few different methods to consider when deciding when to take your first pill:

The Quick Start Method

For this method, you simply take your first birth control pill on the same day that you get them from the pharmacy. Continue taking your pills every day as prescribed. Use another method of birth control (a condom, for example) for the first seven days after starting your pills if you plan on having sexual intercourse.

The Fifth-Day Start Method

For the fifth-day start method, wait until the fifth day of your period before taking your first pill. When you start birth control within the first 5 days of your period, you are protected against pregnancy as soon as you start taking your pills.ALSO READ How to Get Birth Control Pills in Canada? Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and others ANSWERED

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The Sunday Start Method

Starting your birth control pill on Sunday and continuing to take them every day as directed will help ensure that you do not get your period on weekends. This method is an excellent option for anyone, but especially those who have activities on the weekend and would prefer to be period-free. As with the quick start method, be sure to use another method of birth control for the first seven days after starting your pills if you plan on having sexual intercourse.

Is it better to start birth control mid cycle?

You do not have to wait for your period to start taking the birth control pill. Birth control pills can be taken as soon as you get them, any day of the week, and anytime during your menstrual cycle. When you’ll be protected from pregnancy depends on when you start taking the pill, and the kind of birth control pill you’re using.  A back up birth control method is suggested during the first 7 days of being on the pill.

What about starting birth control at the beginning of my cycle?

Yes, you can start taking birth control pills any day of the week. However, starting a new birth control pill pack is most effective when the first pill is taken within the first 5 days  of your menstrual period. This provides immediate protection against pregnancy from your first pill.

Although most birth control pill packs start on a Sunday,  you can, in fact, start taking birth control on any day during the week. It is recommended that birth control is started within 5 days of the menstrual period, because it kicks in pregnancy protection right away. If you prefer to be extra careful, using an alternative method of contraception anyway may help put your mind at ease. 

What day to start birth control?

The day of the week when you start taking the birth control pill does not affect its effectiveness. There are a few different ways to start taking birth control. Option one is taking birth control on the first day of your period. In this case, pregnancy protection kicks in right away. Second option would be to start taking birth control at any time during the menstrual period; however, you will need a back up birth control method during the first 7 days. The third option is to start taking birth control on a Sunday. Many brands do start the pill on a Sunday, meaning, you will take your first pill on the first Sunday after your menstrual starts. Likewise, an alternative birth control method like a condom is suggested during the first 7 days. 

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Can you start birth control any day of the week?

Yes, you can start taking birth control pills any day of the week. However, starting a new birth control pill pack is most effective when the first pill is taken on the first day of your menstrual period. You are protected against pregnancy right away from the first pill. 

Best time to start birth control in cycle

The best time to start taking the birth control pill is on the first day of your menstrual period. The birth control pill comes into effect right away. 

When to take birth control for the first time?

The best time to take the birth control pill is on the first day of your menstrual period. To stay on track, and to ensure the effectiveness of the pill, choose a time that is most convenient for you and take the pill at the same time every day

Can you start birth control before your period?

You can start taking the pill any day during the week, however, an additional contraceptive method during the first 7 days is recommended to ensure efficacy and prevent pregnancy.

Starting Birth Control Pills based on type of Birth Control Pill

There are two types of birth control pills:

  1. the combination pill
  2. and the progestin-only pill
Image-of-birth-control-pills
Image-of-birth-control-pills

The combination pill contains both estrogen and progestin. The progestin-only pill, as its name suggests, only contains progestin.  While the above-noted instructions provide a simple guide on when to start the birth control pill, these instructions can be tailored based on the type of pill you will be taking.ALSO READ  Birth Control and Protein Deficiency

When should I start taking the combination pill?

If you plan on using the combination pill, you will be protected from pregnancy immediately if you start your first pill within five days after starting your period. If you plan on taking your first combination pill at any point other than five days after the start of your period, there is a chance that you may get pregnant. To prevent this from happening, it is advised to use another method of birth control, for at least seven days after taking your first pill if you plan on being sexually active.

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When should I start taking the progestin-only pill?

If you plan on using a progestin-only pill, you will be protected from pregnancy within two days of taking your first pill. If you plan on being sexually active within that two day (48 hour timeframe), be sure to use another method of birth control to help prevent pregnancy.

While you may have a preference as to when to start taking birth control pills, you should discuss your options with your doctor. There are a number of factors to consider that may dictate when you should start your first course of oral contraceptives.

Looking for alternatives to birth control pills?

Read any of these articles linked to from below.

  1. Birth Control Patch
  2. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
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