Common Pill/patch/ring Questions
Do I have to be 16 years old to start using any form of contraception?
No you do not, you will be asked a few questions to ensure that you are safe and not being pressured into having sex against your will. You may want to read Sex and the Law
How do I start the Pill/patch/ring? (not progesterone pill ie. Cerelle)
These instructions apply to most types of combined pill/patch/ ring. You can start anytime in your menstrual cycle if you are sure you are not pregnant. You can also start up to, and including, the fifth day of your period and you will be protected from pregnancy immediately. Talk to your doctor or nurse about this and whether you need to use additional contraception for the first seven days. If you start at any other time in your menstrual cycle you will need to use additional contraception, such as condoms, for the first seven days.
How important is it that I take the pill at the same time?
When you start taking the pill choose a time that you will find easy to remember every day, first cuppa in the morning or when you clean your teeth before you get into bed. Taking a pill at the same time each day will help you to remember to take it regularly .If you forget to take one then as long as you take it within 24 hours of your usual time then it will be fine.
For info on the Patch CLICK HERE
For info on The Ring CLICK HERE
if the missed pills are in the last week of your packet, use a condom and call your nearest clinic for advice.
I’m bleeding on days when I’m taking the combined pill? What should I do?
Bleeding is very common when you first start taking the pill and is not usually anything to worry about. It may take up to three months to settle down. It is very important to keep taking the pills to the end of the packet, even if the bleeding is as heavy as your withdrawal bleed. Bleeding may also be caused by not taking the pill correctly or by a sexually transmitted infection. If it carries on or starts after you have used the pill for some time, seek advice.
I didn’t bleed in my pill free week? Am I pregnant?
If you took all your pills correctly and you didn’t have an upset stomach or take any other medicines which might have affected the pill, then it is very unlikely you are pregnant. So start your next packet at the right time. If you are worried ask your doctor or nurse for advice, or do a pregnancy test. Always take a test or speak to a health professional if you miss more than one bleed. Taking the pill does not affect a pregnancy test. If you do become pregnant, there is no evidence to show that taking the combined pill harms the baby. If you have sex when you feel your pill may not have been working you can access the Emergency Contraceptive Pill
I am on antibiotics will my pill be less effective?
No antibiotics will not mean that your pill is less effective. If you are sick or have diarrhoea then your pill may not be working
There are 3 different ways to take continuous combined contraception CLICK HERE to read more.
I have been sick will my combined pill still work?
If you vomit within two hours of taking a pill, it won’t have been absorbed by your body, so it’s as if you hadn’t taken it. You’ll still be protected from pregnancy as long as no more pills are missed.
If you have very severe diarrhoea that continues for more than 24 hours, this may make the pill less effective. Keep taking your pill at the normal time, but treat each day that you have severe diarrhoea as if you’d missed a pill. Check next section for what to do.
What should I do if I forget to take a pill (Combined pill only) or start my packet late? –
Missing pills or starting the packet late may make your pill less effective. The chance of pregnancy after missing pills depends on when pills are missed and how many pills are missed. Missing one pill anywhere in your pack or starting the new pack one day late is not a problem. Extending the week that you are off your pill by more than one day is the most risky thing to do. If in doubt just keep taking them and run two packets together.
Up to 48 hours since your last pill:- take your next pill now. Continue taking the rest of the pack as usual. This might mean that you need to take two pills on one day.
48-72 hours since your last pill :- You’ve missed one pill, take the last pill you missed now, continue taking the rest of the pack as usual.
More than 72 hours since your last pill :- You’ve missed two or more pills. Take the last pill you missed now. Leave any earlier missed pills. Continue taking the rest of the pack as usual. Use additional contraception or avoid sex for the next seven days
I have been sick will my Progesterone only pill still work?
If you vomit within two hours of taking the POP, it won’t have been absorbed by your body. Take another pill as soon as you feel well enough. As long as you’re not sick again your contraception won’t be affected. Take your next pill at the normal time. If you continue to be sick, seek advice. If you have very severe diarrhoea that continues for more than 24 hours, this may make the POP less effective. Keep taking your pill at the normal time, but treat each day that you have severe diarrhoea as if you’d missed a pill.(see below)
What do I do if I miss a Progersterone only pill?
If you’re more than three hours late (12 hours if you’re taking a desogestrel POP such as Cerelle) :-
Take a pill as soon as you remember. If you’ve missed more than one, only take one.
Take your next pill at the usual time. This may mean taking two pills in one day. This isn’t harmful. You’re not protected from pregnancy. Continue to take your pills as usual but use an additional method of contraception, such as condoms, for the next two days
If you’ve had unprotected sex during this time you may need emergency contraception. Seek advice immediately.
If you’re less than three /Twelve hours late:-
Take a pill as soon as you remember. Take your next pill at the usual time. You’re protected from pregnancy.
fpa have lots more information about the pill.