What causes the failure of birth control pills?
Are birth control pills more effective than condoms?
How long does it take for birth control pills to work?
The time it takes birth control pills to work depends on when you start taking them and what type of pills you use. You may begin taking the birth control pill any day of the month. It is; however, advisable to use a backup birth control method, such as condoms, for about a week once you start taking the pills.
Combination oral contraceptive pills (COCs)
- When started within five days after the first day of your period, the combined pill will protect you from pregnancy right away.
- If you get your periods on a Monday morning and you start taking the combined pills any time before Saturday morning, you will be instantly protected from a possible pregnancy.
- If the pills are started at any other time, it is best to use an additional method of birth control, like a condom, for the first week after you start taking the combined pills.
Progestin-only pills (Mini pills)
- Progestin-only pills, POPs or mini pills can be started any day of the month. They will protect you from pregnancy after 48 hours (two days) of taking the first pill.
- In this case, you must use another method of birth control (like a condom) to prevent pregnancy during the first two days.
You must always discuss with your nurse or doctor about which birth control pill option would be best for you.
Medically Reviewed on 6/24/2020