There are many different types of contraceptive pills available, each of them slightly different from the other. That’s why it is important to follow the instructions that come with your pill package carefully. If you have any questions about how to take the Pill, ask your healthcare provider for further advice.
Hormones used in the pill are mostly a synthetic form of the hormones progestin and oestrogen. Some contain only a progestin, others a combination of progestin and oestrogen. These hormones prevent you from ovulating and thicken the mucus in the cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to reach the uterus.
Depending on the type of Pill, some can improve the condition of your skin and hair, others help with symptoms such as acne, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and irregular menstrual bleeding.
If you find the Pill you are on does not suit you, there are plenty of others to choose from. However, usually it takes some months until your body is accustomed to a certain Pill and too frequent changes would prevent you from finding any appropriate type. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider who will assist you.
If you have not used any contraceptive with hormones in the previous month, you should start taking the Pill on the first day of your period. By doing so, you are immediately protected against pregnancy.
The Pill is one of the most reliable forms of contraception, offering a very high degree of protection against pregnancy when taken as directed.
No. It is not necessary to take a break from the Pill unless you want to get pregnant.
It may take a bit of time for your body to return to a state where you can become pregnant again, but this is only temporary. Fertility returns to its previous level no matter how long you have taken a hormonal contraceptive method for.
In a major surveillance study, about 20% of women who stopped taking the combined pill achieved pregnancy within four weeks after they stopped taking the Pill. More than 40% got pregnant within the first three months after stopping the Pill.
Please be advised that hormonal contraception does not cause infertility.
It depends on the type of Pill. Most Pills work across a 28-day cycle including the pill-free or placebo interval, which means you have one pack for each cycle.
With some Pills you have to take a hormonal pill daily. Others require you take a hormonal pill every day for 21, 24, or 26 days of the cycle, and then have a pill-free or placebo pill break for seven or less days depending on the type of Pill. During this break, you will still be protected and have your period.
Not sure how to broach the topic of sex and contraception with your partner, parents, or doctor? We’re here to help.
Accessed on September 6, 2016