Oral Contraceptive Information


Most birth control pills consist of a combination of synthetic hormones – estrogen and progesterone. Birth control pills primarily prevent pregnancy by inhibiting egg production. With no egg to be fertilized by sperm, pregnancy cannot occur. It is very important to recognize that “The Pill” helps protect you from pregnancy but offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

ACTUAL USE EFFECTIVENESS is approximately 96-99%. Incorrect use, such as skipping a pill or taking one late may increase your chance of getting pregnant on the birth control pill.

Please contact our office for refills on your birth control within 72 hours of running out to ensure there is not a lapse in medication coverage. 

How to Use

For Sunday Start Pill: Start your first pack on the first Sunday after your period begins. If you period begins on Sunday, start the pill that day. You will always start your pill pack on Sunday.

For First day Start Pills: Find the day label strip that starts with the day of the week your period begins. The first day of your period is the day you begin bleeding or spotting (even if it is almost midnight when bleeding begins). Peel the label strip and place it on top of the pill pack card where it says, “Place Day Label Here”. Make sure each day of the week is above a row of pills. Throw away the strips you are not using.

28 Day Regimen: You take 21 hormone pills followed by 7 different colored “reminder” or placebo pills. Your period will come during the time you are taking the reminder pills because these pills contain no drugs. You start your next pack the day after you finish the reminders (Sunday). This eliminates the on-and-off schedule of the 21 day regimen; there is no medical difference.


Use of condoms and foam with the birth control pills will help to protect you for sexually transmitted infections. Please consider a condom whenever there are questions about your partner’s sexual activity, past or present.

Pills must be taken every day at the same time (i.e. within one-half hour of the same time) in order to maintain a specific hormone level in your body which prevents egg productions. Each time you miss a pill or take it at a different time you increase your chance of becoming pregnant. To help your memory, associate taking your pills with one of your daily activities such as brushing your teeth or eating dinner.

If you miss 1 pill, take it as soon as you remember it. You are not protected; therefore, use your backup method of birth control for the rest of that package. You may have bleeding or spotting until your next package of pills is started.

If you miss 2 pills, take 2 pills as soon as you remember and 2 pills the next day. You are not protected; therefore, use your backup method of birth control for the rest of that package. You may have bleeding or spotting until your next package of pills is started.

If you miss 3 or more pills, stop pills and use another form of birth control until your period starts. Restart your birth control pills as described on the first page.

Periods may be shorter and scant on the pill. You may have no fresh blood at all. If you only have a drop of blood or a brown smudge on the tampon or pad, that counts as a period.

If you have missed one period but have not missed any pills and have no signs of pregnancy, then you should continue the pills. If you are worried about pregnancy, call the office. If you miss one or more pills in a cycle and then miss your period, you should stop the pills, use your backup method of birth control and call the office.

If you miss 2 periods in a row, call to set up a pregnancy test, even if you have taken your pill every day.

If you decide you want to get pregnant, stop your pills at the end of the package and use your backup method of birth control until you have at least 1 normal menstrual period off the pill. This is to allow for accurate calculation of your due date.

Always tell your health care provider that you are on birth control pills, especially if you are admitted to a hospital of need surgery.

If mood changes, depression, irritability or change in sex drive continue for three months or more on the pill, please let us know. Switching to another brand of pill may help.

If you smoke more than 14 cigarettes per day, you should watch carefully for pill danger signs and stop taking the pill at age 35. We highly recommend you not smoke at all while taking the pill. We offer Smoking Cessation Classes if you desire. Please ask us about these classes.

Helpful Hints

 Helpful Hints

Birth control pills do not protect you for the first month; therefore, a second form of birth control (back up method) must be used during that entire first package of pills. Choose a backup method of birth control (such as condoms and foam) to use with your first package of pills or if the following occurs:

  • Run out of pills
  • Forget pills
  • Experience pill danger signs and stop taking the pill
  • Are sick and vomit your pills
  • Have to take medicine which may alter the pill’s effectiveness. (see below list for examples)