You may have already decided that the pill is the best birth control option for you, but you probably still have a lot of questions. One of the most common questions women have before using this type of birth control is what is the best day to start the pill?
There are many choices and most people have their own point of view on this topic. The best thing for you to do is to understand all the possibilities and then speak with your doctor to make a final decision.
The Best Day to Start the Pill Depends on Which Pill You Choose
The answer to the question when is the best day to start the pill is a personal preference. A lot depends on which type of pill you and your doctor decide to use.
There are two common birth control pills: Combination pills which contain estrogen and progestin, and the progestin-only pills which are commonly called minipills or POPs.
The Combination Pill
There are three different approaches for choosing the best day to start a combination pill.
- The first option is to take the pill immediately. Women who choose this option still have the capability to conceive for the first 7 days after taking the pills. To prevent an unwanted pregnancy, it is important for couples to use a form of backup contraception, such as a condom with spermicidal gel.
- The second option is to begin the pill during the first day of menstruation. Women who to start taking the pill on this day do not have to worry about using any additional forms of birth control.
- Finally, many women prefer to take combination birth control pills on the first Sunday after the beginning of their periods. Women who use a Sunday as the starting time are more likely to avoid having to suffer menstrual pain during the weekends when it can be more disruptive to an active lifestyle.
The Progestin-Only Pill
For women who choose to use the minipill every day is the best day to start the pill! It’s recommended to use additional birth control protection for two days afterward. However most experts suggest women should first take the pill on the initial day of their menstrual cycle to avoid having to use any backup birth control method. Many women switch from the combination pill to the minipill. These women can take the progestin-only pills the day after they finish their last combination pill.
Other Things You Should Know About When to Start the Pill
All birth control pills work best when women take them at the same time each day, but it is critical for the minipill to function properly. Forgetting to take a pill is easy. That is why most women like to link the time they take their pills to an everyday activity like eating lunch. It is best not to choose an activity which is too early in the morning or too late at night. Read here for tips on 6 effective ways to remember the birth control pill.
A couple more tips for timing birth control pills are writing down the first day you start each new set of pills on the calendar. Don’t forget to write a reminder to get next month’s supply to avoid running out.
This advice is only a guideline. Speak with your physician for more personalized information.
Mikko Törmä is certified pharmacist and has over 15 years experience in pharmaceutical industry, pharmacy and has worked also in Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Mikko is a professional writer who’s main focus is to make medical science simple to read and understandable, so that ordinary people can easily benefit from the research & recommendations made by professionals. His deepest interest is in the public health and to provide fair access to primary health care for everyone.