Pill reminders – Can they help you take your pills on time?

pill reminders

Pill reminder and pill-tracking app is the new mantra used by researchers to improve medication adherence in patients.

A 2016 poll conducted by Popit Research Labs showed that around 40% of voters relied on their memory to track their pill usage while almost 60% used some form of external pill reminder.

Also, multiple studies are suggesting the rise in medication non-adherence due to forgetfulness. There is clearly a need for an external source to keep track of one’s medication usage.

pill reminder

Do pill reminders work?

With the rise in pill reminder solutions, the first question that pops into your mind is – Do pill reminders actually help? Can they help you take your medications on time?

According to a randomised clinical trial done in 2018, to check the impact of medication reminder apps to improve medication adherence in a Coronary Heart Disease study, adherence improvement for app users seemed to be ~7.2%. It was concluded that patients who used medication reminder apps had better medication adherence compared to those with usual care.

A study by Cochrane on interventions for medication adherence in the elderly suggested that behavioural and educational interventions along with the aid of simple strategies may lead to greater satisfaction in medication management in the elderly.

In a poll conducted by Popit, almost 50% of the users confirmed they have some kind of reminders for pills and they find these useful in tracking their pills for birth control. In a clinical pilot together with a leading university hospital, their pill reminder solution was able to reduce missed pills by over 80% and help build a solid routine around pill-taking.

pill reminders

Popit Research Labs, 2016

Which is the most effective pill reminder?

With the internet being flooded with various pill reminders apps and medication trackers, how do you know if these are effective or not?  Does it really make sense to invest in one? If yes, then which one?

Pill dispensers are cheap, but using a pill dispenser is more or less relying on your memory. On the other hand, smartphone alarms are free, but most people end up ignoring these alarms as constant notifications can get annoying after a while.

smart sensing device could be another option that you can rely on. This is the world’s first and only tracker for a pill blister that comes with built-in sensors. It can sense when you pop a pill off the blister and notifies you only when you miss a pill. Which means, if you take the pill, you don’t get the daily annoying reminders. Also, there is no manual input needed to keep a track of your pill usage.

We compiled a comparison chart so you can evaluate which solution is best for you.

pill reminders

Pill Reminders

How do pill reminders help?

Medication cannot work as intended if it is not taken as prescribed. Consistency and taking pills according to guidance play a key role in any treatment.

Some of the cases where pill reminders have proven to be beneficial include:

1. Avoiding unwanted pregnancy

pill reminders

The risk of pregnancy with a typical birth control pill use is 9% and the pill is 99% efficient only when used perfectly.

By perfect use, it means you have to take the pill every day without fail. You must also take it at the same time day after day. In a recent survey conducted by Popit, more than 1 in 12 women on the pill may have experienced an unintended pregnancy due to missing a pill.

2. Medication adherence in chronic health conditions

Medication non-adherence in chronic health conditions is a recognized public health problem. According to a study conducted by NCBI on unintentional non-adherence of prescribed medication, more than 60% of the test group forgot to take their pills on time.

3. Improved parental or caregiver medication adherence

To keep a track of someone’s medication is more challenging than managing one’s own treatment. You can easily manage this when you have an app that can notify you whenever they miss their pills.

So, do you need one?

Pill Reminders

Evolution of pill reminders

From the humble reminders such as markings on a calendar to smart sensing devices, pill reminders have evolved over the years. This confirms the need for an external source to track pill usage apart from relying on one’s memory.

Multiple studies are also supporting this claim saying it could be one of the ways to improve adherence in patients.

Pill reminder solutions are usually a one time purchase and cost less than a good pair of sneakers. They are the most reliable alternative to ensuring you take your medicines on time and stay on track.

These can also be a thoughtful gift for your loved ones. For, after all, there is no greater gift that you can give or receive than to stay healthy or investing in the good health of your loved ones.

The Rise of Men’s Birth Control Pill

It seems that the world of men is about to experience a drastic change since the news for the alternatives of condoms has been fluttering around the world. Initially, it was just rumors. Then the research was confirmed and now at last, the lab guys are finally closing in on a new solution which would not require men to sheath their swords with late condoms.

This new solution is in the form of a pill. Yes, the pill may ring the bells of a tablet for birth control for women, but this time, a pill is coming for the same purposes but only for men. The women will no longer have to worry about anything if they missed a pill or forgot to take it since there won’t be any need or cause for them to concern themselves over pregnancy.

While the pill is still in the process of making with the various regulations and rules of the Food and Drug Association panel (FDA), the Parsemus Foundation, which is a medical research organization, has been working on an alternative contraceptive for men and have found its solution in the form of the Vasalgel. Vasalgel is the men’s birth control injection and to top it off, none of the males will have to worry about their manly hormones since Vasalgel will be a non-hormonal male contraceptive.

Vasalgel is poised to be the very first male contraceptive approved by the FDA since the introduction of condoms. It is injected directly into the sperm tubes of the males and blocks only the sperms while allowing all other fluids to pass through it. Its effects can last up to 1 year, so males won’t have to worry about getting it injected over and over again whenever they want to have sex. It is not a pill, but it’s a start and Aaron Hamlin, the Executive director of the Male Contraception Initiative, has heralded the coming of the male pill as well which makes it almost a certainty that men’s birth control pill will be coming.

According to other sources all over the internet, the men’s birth control pill is expected to arrive from 2018 to 2020 but one thing is certain. Once the male pill has been introduced to the world, in family planning it will spell the end of the era for condoms. One must however remember that such a contraceptive method does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, so condoms will still continue to exist.

Other formulas which have shown potential to take the form of male pill are H2-Gamendazole and JQ1 which work by keeping the sperms from reaching maturity and tricking the body into forgetting how to make sperms. The researchers just need to figure out a way to weed out their side effects, but they clearly show potential for taking the place of the men’s pill.

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You Should Never Do These Things While On The Pill

Birth control pills have been around for quite some time and in fact are being used by tens of millions who try to prevent themselves from getting pregnant. What are the birth control pill facts you should be aware of?

Birth control pills – Things to know

So you’re on the birth control pill but still bothered about getting pregnant. “Just how effective are these medications?” you ask. “What if I use it incorrectly and get pregnant anyway?” Unfortunately, it’s very possible. Following are what you need to avoid to get the most out of your birth control pill of choice.

Starting Late

The most common mistake women make using the pill is beginning their next cycle one or more days late. If you start your next cycle one day late, take two pills rapidly and then one pill per day after that.

In case you delay even more and start two days late, take two pills for each of the next two days and one pill per day after that. If you drop the ball and are three days or more late starting your next cycle, it’s apparently too late for this month. You should quickly switch to another form of temporary birth control and call your doctor for instructions.

Skipping A Day

Another common mistake women make while on birth control pills is forgetting and accidentally skipping a day. Imperfect use, or not taking your birth control when and how you’re supposed to, is the number one reason it fails.

If you miss one day sometime within your cycle, immediately take the pill you missed and continue with the rest of your cycle as planned. This may indicate you have to take more than one pill in a day.

If you miss two pills in a row anytime during your cycle, take two pills the day you remember and two the next, continuing with the rest of your cycle as normal. If this happens, however, you should use a backup form of birth control just to be on the safe side, because you are at risk.

Avoid Taking Certain Medications

Some drugs can make birth control pills less effective, which may result in pregnancy. A certain antibiotic lessens the efficiency of the hormonal pills and increase the possibility of you getting pregnant. The usage directions of the pill you’re using should include information on the drugs it interacts with, which reduce its efficiency.

Furthermore, when the doctor prescribes any drug treatment, you need to inform him/her that you’re using contraceptives.

Keep It Properly

Don’t keep your pill in the car, in your purse or the bathroom. This is not a great idea.

Birth control pills need to be stored in temperatures less than 25C/77F degrees, or they start to degrade. If you’re not sure, use a backup method, such as condoms, until you start a new, properly stored pack.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking and birth control pills don’t jive. Smoking can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke or blood clots caused by birth control pills, particularly if you are older than 35. By quitting smoking (or never starting), you lower your risks on the pill.

Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, blood clots, and stroke. The more you smoke and the older you are, the higher the risk.

Mistakes while using the pill are not unusual. The first thing you should do is switch to a temporary backup form of birth control or cease from sexual intercourse entirely until you’re caught up.

Of course, only your doctor can advise you on whether or not it’s safe for you to take multiple pills on any given day, as there may be adverse hormonal side effects.

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What Is The Best Day To Start The Pill?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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! 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.

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Pregnant On The Pill

Is it possible to get pregnant on the pill? Yes.

While there is not any method of birth control which is 100 percent guaranteed, oral contraceptives is one of the most effective ones available. In fact, when a woman correctly uses birth control pills which contain both progestin and estrogen, she has a near-100% probability of avoiding pregnancy per year. Even when a woman occasionally forgets to take her pills, the annual efficiency rate of many oral contraception remains at a fairly high level of around 91 percent – but statistically that still means 9 women out of a 100 experience an unintended pregnancy every year.

Over a 3 year time period the risk for unintended pregnancy with typical use is over 24x greater than with consistent, perfect use.

The vast majority of women who do conceive while on the pill report missing two or more pills within a one-month period or they were using prescription drugs like antibiotics or anti-depressants. Overall, 25 out of 100 women become pregnant after a three-year period of typical birth control pill use. Here the keyword is ‘typical use’, which means missing the pill occasionally.

If taken perfectly (roughly same time every day, no missed pills), the same statistic is 1 pregnancy for every 100 women. Over a three-year time period the risk for unintended pregnancy with typical use is therefore 24x greater than with perfect use.

What Should a Woman Do If She Gets Pregnant on the Pill

Any woman who believes that she may be pregnant while taking the pill should immediately stop using oral contraceptives and schedule an appointment with her doctor. The doctor can confirm whether she is pregnant and can discuss all the options and answer any questions or concerns.

As long as a woman catches her pregnancy soon enough, termination is still possible, if that is what the woman decides is the best option. A woman who decides to carry the baby to term needs to ensure that she is taking all the precautions necessary to give the child the best possible chance in life.

The Dangers of Getting Pregnant While Taking Birth Control

Many soon-to-be mothers worry that if they conceive a child while using birth control pills, there is a much higher percentage that the pregnancy will end in either a miscarriage or a stillbirth. This is not true. But there are health problems which may develop for women who conceive while using oral contraceptives.

One of the greatest dangers of getting pregnant on the pill is mistaking the signs of pregnancy as one of the side effects of using this form of contraception. This can delay prenatal care and lead to other health risks for both the mother and the unborn child. These signs can include missing a period, breast tenderness and nausea. Women who suddenly develop any of these symptoms after using the pill for a few months with no problems should speak with a doctor to determine the cause.

The FDA has not officially verified any direct links between oral contraceptives and birth defects.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not officially verified any direct links between continuing to take oral contraceptives and birth defects. A study on birth defects and oral contraception in Denmark seemed to coincide with the FDA’s stance.

In the Danish study, children of mothers who unknowingly used birth control pills during the early portion of their pregnancy had no more birth defects than the general population. But, on the other hand, some studies suggest oral contraceptives can increase the chance of an ectopic pregnancy where the child develops outside of the womb, or in a rare birth defect which affects male babies (called hypospadias).

These are only guidelines and it is important to speak with your doctor about any medical issues which might concern you.

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What Is The Most Common Birth Control Pill Side Effect?

The oral contraceptive pill is a highly effective method of birth control when taken at the same time every day. When taken perfectly (no occasional forgetfulness), only 0.3% of women experience an unintended pregnancy. However, like any medication, it too may come with side effects. We recently did two polls where we asked about the most common birth control pill side effect.

Usually side effects subside during time but still they worry people. In our polls we wanted to dive into which ones worried most and which ones had been experienced.

The Most Common Birth Control Pill Side Effect

Almost half (45%) of the users worry about possible weight gain during pill use. If it’s of any relief, clinical studies have found no consistent association between the use of birth control pills and weight fluctuations. Usually the weight change happens due to other reasons, or is temporary.

most common birth control pill side effect_worries

Pretty much in line with this fact is that in our other survey we noticed only 7% of users experiencing weight gain. Most common side effect experienced was actually nausea (21%). If going back to the image above, only 8% of users were worried about experiencing it. It’s good to know that these symptoms usually subside after a short time. Taking the pill with food or at bedtime can also help lower the likelihood of nausea.

most common birth control pill side effect_experienced

(Note that for the other survey it was possible to give multiple answers, so votes do not equal 61.)

Birth Control Pill and Mood Changes

Then how about mood changes? Beforehand only 10% of people were worried about experiencing mood changes. 20% of users reported experiencing these symptoms.

This side effect has been studied a lot. For example a 2015 study of 90 women published in Human Mapping found that use of the birth control pills was associated with smaller cortical thickness measurements in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex. Now that’s a mouthful…

What does it mean? These areas of the brain are linked with reward response and evaluating incoming stimuli, and it means that the pill could be messing with how you feel about things.

No need to sound the panic alarm though. Authors mention further research needs to be conducted to confirm whether or not there is a connection between cortical thinning in these areas of the brain, mood changes and birth control pill use. In any case anyone experiencing mood changes during pill use should contact their medical provider.

When Should You Contact a Doctor?

It is important that anyone who experiences any of the following side effects while taking the pill contacts their medical provider or visits an emergency room immediately, as they may signify a serious condition.

Birth control pill side effects that should be investigated are:

  • A: Abdominal/stomach pain
  • C: Chest pain (as well as shortness of breath)
  • H: Headaches that are severe
  • E: Eye problems such as blurred vision or loss of vision
  • S: Swelling or aching in the legs and thighs (also redness, swelling or pain in the calf or thighs).

These symptoms can be remembered using the acronym ACHES.

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References:

  1. Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Health matters fact sheet, accessed 20 August 2015.
  2. Brown University, Birth control pills (BCPs), accessed 27 February 2015.
  3. Oral contraceptive pill use is associated with localized decreases in cortical thickness, Nicole Petersen et al., Human Brain Mapping, doi: 10.1002/hbm.22797, published online 2 April 2015, abstract.

Do Birth Control Pills Make You Fat?

There are many wonderful reasons for choosing the oral contraceptives as your birth control method, but it is important to remember that birth control pills are medication. So do birth control pills make you fat? Women who decide to use them may experience negative side effects.

These side effects may include nausea, headaches, decreased libido, and yes, even weight gain. Remember, not every woman who uses birth control pills suffers from these side effects. Even those who do, these problems are rarely severe.

Over time, most of these side effects will disappear or at least become less pronounced as the body adjusts to the increase of hormones.

Do Birth Control Pills Make You Fat?

Weight gain is one of the main reasons why many shy away from using oral contraceptives. Before starting many women want to know if birth control pills would bring on weight gain.

Most women do not gain any excessive weight from the pill at all.

There is not one answer for everyone. While indeed some women gain weight while on the pill, it is not necessarily a consequence of being on the pill. In fact, most women do not gain any excessive weight from the pill at all.

There are a few reasons why a minority of women may appear heavier and notice a larger number when they step on the scale. The largest amount of blame lies with a hormone known as estrogen.

Studies show that estrogen may both increase a person’s appetite and have the tendency to cause someone to retain water. However according to a large independent study from 2014 there is no sufficient evidence to suggest that the pill would cause major weight gain.

In the early days of oral contraceptives, birth control pills had much higher levels of estrogen than those which are present in today’s pills. Due to these larger amounts of estrogen in the older pills, many more women experienced negative side effects.

For many women weight gain is a normal occurrence that comes with age.

It is pure consequence why other women begin to wonder if birth control pills are causing weight gain.  It is natural for women to gain some weight during their older teen years into their young twenties and then again when they are in their mid-thirties and beyond.

These just so happen to be the time when many women use birth control pills. Therefore, it is quite natural to put the blame on birth control pills for this normal weight gain.

Do birth control pills make me fat? Highly unlikely, according to science.

What Can You Do If You Gain Weight While Using Oral Contraceptives?

If you are among the small percentage of women who continuously gain weight even after a few months of being on the pill, you should know that there is hope. Your first step is to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns over gaining weight.

Your weight gain may just be a coincidence and have no link to your birth control at all. For weight gain due to birth control pills, a doctor may be able to help.

Not all birth control pill brands have the same impact on your body.

Not all brands of birth control pills use the same dosage level of estrogen. Your doctor may want to try a prescription with a lower estrogen level to determine if that corrects the problem. Alternatively, your  doctor may put you on a progestin-only pill.

These pills are sometimes known as POPs or minipills because they do not contain any estrogen at all. A recent study that analysed 22 earlier studies found little evidence that POPs would cause weight gain.

One thing to note with POPs is that getting the same contraceptive efficiency as with combination pills will require you to be extra careful with timing. Missing a pill here and there will increase your risk of unwanted pregnancy more than with combination pills.

After you change to a new pill, you should not expect any immediate changes, It generally takes up to three months before most women will notice a reduction in their weight.

As for any other medication, women should ask their doctors questions to understand all the possible side effects birth control pills may cause.

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How Soon Do Birth Control Pills Become Effective?

When women use birth control pills, they have many more choices and a lot more freedom than other methods of birth control. Most women who start using birth control pills want to enjoy these advantages as soon as possible, but how soon do birth control pills become effective?

How Soon Do Birth Control Pills Become Effective?

If you are among the millions of women in the US who are choosing to start to use birth control pills this year, you need to know ‘the pill’ is often not instantly effective. It can take a long time before your birth control pills are able to protect you against an unwanted pregnancy.

But precisely how much time depends on several factors. Some of these factors include the specific type of birth control pills you are taking and how far along you are in your menstrual cycle when you take the first pill. It is critical to understand how these factors can affect you.

Check also our earlier blog post on when should you start the pill.

How the Types of Pills and Your Menstrual Cycle Affects the Effectiveness of Birth Control Pills

There are two main types of birth control pills: combination pills and progestin-only pills. There are benefits and drawbacks for each of these two varieties. Your doctor tends to make the final decision about which type of pill is best for you. If you prefer one type of pill or have concerns, talk to your physician.

A combination pill  is the most common type of birth control. A combination pill contains both progestin and oestrogen hormones. Women who use this kind of birth control pill may need to wait up to 7 days before the pill can protect them against unwanted pregnancy.

During this waiting period, it is still possible for these women to engage in intercourse, but they should continue to use an alternative method of birth control such as a condom and spermicidal gel.

For a woman who thinks that 7 days is too long of a time to wait, there is good news.

There is a way for women to eliminate the waiting period completely. Women who take their first combination pill on the initial day of their periods are free to have sex with a far less chance of becoming pregnant from day one.

A progestin-only pill, most commonly known as the ‘minipill’ or POP, only contains the hormone progestin. One advantage of using the minipill is that it takes only 48 hours for progestin-only pills to become effective against pregnancy.

For the first two days after beginning the minipill, couples need to use an alternative method of birth control. It is important to note that with the minipill, women must take the pill at the same time each day to stay protected.

Missing a pill by as little as three hours means you have to take precautions.

Missing a pill by as little as three hours can mean having to use a backup method for 48 hours. Forgetting to take a pill for an entire day will mean 2 weeks of using an alternative birth control method.

This is only a guideline for how soon do birth control pills become effective and everyone is different. Listen to your doctor and always ask questions when you have any concerns about your health.

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Birth Control Pill Examination: These Are The Tests Your Doctor Will Carry Out

Birth control pills are not handed out like candy. You have to go through a birth control pill examination before your doctor can prescribe the contraceptives. Some of the prescribed tests are not crucial and can be postponed to a later date. The tests also vary based on age.

Mandatory birth control pill examination

These are tests that the doctor must administer before you start birth control or refill your prescription.

Blood pressure

Your doctor should check your blood pressure before you begin taking the birth control pills. This is because the hormones found in birth control pills can sometimes cause your blood pressure to rise. In extreme cases, the pills can cause secondary hypertension.

If you have a history of hypertension, then you should inform your doctor before going on the pill. For the average woman, blood pressure tests can be done annually if she is in good health.

Ask if you are a smoker

Smoking is a high-risk factor when taking contraceptive pills. Your doctor will, therefore, enquire if you are a smoker.

Your risk of having a stroke or a heart attack increases when you are a smoker on the pill. You can also develop a blood clot. However, it does not mean that smokers should not be on birth control as there are contraceptive pills that are suited for them.

Ask if you’ve had a problem with blood clots

People with blood clot issues are also in the high-risk bracket when using oral contraceptives. The birth control pill is known to increase the possibility of blood clots. The hormones, estrogen and progestin, found in many oral contraceptives cause an increase in clotting factors. Doctors, therefore, have to check for a history of blood clotting as part of the birth control pill examination. If you have had blood clots in the past, the doctor can recommend a suitable type of contraceptive.

Non-mandatory tests

Some of the birth control tests can be skipped and done at a later date. Although these tests are important, they are usually not mandatory when signing up for an oral contraceptive plan to encourage more women to get on the pill. Some of these tests can be costly while others might discourage women from getting the contraceptives due to anxiety.  The non-mandatory birth control examination includes the following tests:

Breast exam

These exams help check for breast cancer. This is because studies have shown that some contraceptives increase the risk of breast cancer. The breast exams are still important although the high-risk contraceptives are now rarely prescribed. Although getting a breast exam is not mandatory, it is important that you get it several times a year so that if you develop breast cancer, it can be detected early enough.

Pelvic exam

This exam is used to test for sexually transmitted infections. It is also important if you have complications such as abdominal pains or vaginal discharge. You can opt to skip this birth control pill examination if you are in perfect health.

Pap smear

This test is used to check for cervical cancer. You can skip it during a birth control examination, but you should make a point of having the Pap smear done at a convenient time. Teenagers also don’t get pap smears since they are inconclusive.

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When Should You Start the Pill? Determining The Best Time To Start Taking Contraceptive Pills

Birth control has become a necessary stage in every woman’s life. Among all the birth control means, the pill has emerged on top due to its convenience and efficiency. Birth control is all about planning your family and personal life. This planning should start from the minute you decide to take that first birth control pill since it is likely to affect your menstrual cycle. So when should you start the pill? First, let’s explore our options.

Ways to start the pill

There are many approaches you can use to start taking the pill.

Quick start: with this method, you start the pill immediately after you get your first pack. This plan does not consider what day it is or where you are in your menstrual cycle.

Sunday start: as the name suggests, you start taking the pills on a Sunday.

Fifth day start: Wait until the fifth day of your period to take your first birth control pill.

First day start: Start taking the pill on the day your menstrual cycle begins

Now that we know the various methods let’s dig in deeper.

What would make starting or using pills easier?

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When should you start the Pill?

The time you choose to start your pill depends on your convenience, and the advantages you wish to gain.

Under normal conditions, most doctors recommend you start on the fifth day. This method is the most convenient for people who experience a normal cycle and are not in a hurry to start taking the pill. Should you start the pill on the fifth day, you start getting protection from that day, and hence you do not need to use a backup birth control method before the pill kicks in.

Another advantage of starting the pill on the fifth day is that it syncs up with your body’s natural cycle. Therefore, you are more likely to avoid complications such as intermenstrual spotting.

The first-day start method has the same advantages as the fifth-day start. You can also start taking the pill anywhere in between the first and fifth day of your menstrual cycle to gain the same benefits.

The Sunday start method is also chosen by many due to its convenience. This method helps to ensure that you don’t have your period during the weekend. Therefore, if this is a priority for you, then this is when you should start the pill. Another benefit is that the Sunday start also links up with most contraception calendars. It is therefore convenient so that you do not forget to take the pill.

Combining the fifth or first-day start with the Sunday start offers you more convenience since you rip the benefits of both methods. A Sunday that falls anywhere from your first day of bleeding to your fifth day is when you should start the pill.

Some women also opt for the quick start method. You can use this method if you are in a hurry to get the pill working. Just remember that for the first seven days after taking the pill, you should use an alternative method of protection. This approach is also likely to cause intermenstrual spotting.

So when should you start the pill? It is all a matter of convenience. Consulting your doctor and knowing what to expect when you take the pills for the first time will help you take the decision.

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