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.

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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.

 

(A clinical pilot – DOI: 10.15761/COGRM.1000217, was conducted by a team of doctor’s including Henna Kärkkäinen, MD, Ph.D, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Heikki Matero Ph.M, Janne Sahlman MD, Ph.D at the Kuopio University Hospital.  The study concludes that an on-demand reminder system increases adherence of birth control pill users. More details regarding this study can be found here. )

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