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.
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 increases 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.
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.
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.