Atlanta Gynecology & Obstetrics, OB/GYN Physicians logo for print

Decatur: 404-299-9724 | 315 Winn Way, Decatur, GA 30030
Gwinnett: 770-923-5033 | 449 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 200, Lilburn, GA 30047
After Hours/Emergency: 404-487-2450
Decatur: 404-299-9724 | 315 Winn Way, Decatur, GA 30030
Gwinnett: 770-923-5033 | 449 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 200, Lilburn, GA 30047
After Hours/Emergency: 404-487-2450

Oral Contraceptives

Starting the Pill

You may start the pill on the first day of your period or wait until the first Sunday after your period has started. Use back-up birth control for 2 weeks.

New pill users can be nauseated on their first pack. In this case, you may try to take the pill with food or at night before you go to bed.

Taking the Pill

Because the pill contains such a low dose of hormones, you must take it every day at about the same time for it to be effective in preventing pregnancy and irregular bleeding. Irregular bleeding is common in the first 3 packs and will resolve with continued daily use.

You may take the pill with other medicines such as cold remedies, vitamins or calcium. The use of antibiotics reduces the effectiveness of your pill in preventing pregnancy. Use condoms while on antibiotics.

Missing a Pill

If you miss one pill, take one as soon as you remember and then take one pill at the regular time. If you miss two pills, then take two when you remember and one pill at the regular time. You must use back-up birth control (condoms) for one week to prevent pregnancy.

If you miss the first pill of the pack, you must start the pack as soon as possible and then use back-up birth control for 2 weeks!! This is a common reason for unplanned pregnancy. Always keep a pack of your pills on hand and monitor your refill number at the pharmacy. You must return to the office yearly to get a refill.

Call if you experience

  • Irregular bleeding after 3 months
  • Worsening acne or headaches
  • Chest, leg or calf pain
  • Unusual abdominal pain

More Information

The pill will not work if you do not take it daily. The drug is gone 24 hours after your last dose. The pill is safe and beneficial for long term use. You do not have to take a “break” from the pill.

Health Benefits

The birth control pill often reduces the amount of pain and cramping that you experience with a period. You may bleed less and sometimes not bleed at all during your period. The pill will not cause birth defects or cancer. The pill will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. Women also experience fewer problems with their ovaries and enjoy being able to predict their periods weeks in advance.

Pills should not cause weight gain and can improve mild to moderate acne. The pill can prevent pregnancy now, but will not interfere with your ability to get pregnant in the future.

Smoking increases the risk of heart attack and stroke in pill users. You should stop smoking to protect your health or use another method of birth control.