The pill has been around for over 50 years! You take it once a day, at the same time every day. There are lots of different kinds of pills on the market, and new ones come out all the time. How it works: Most work by releasing estrogen and progestin (synthetic hormones) that keep ovaries from releasing eggs. The hormones also thicken cervical mucus, which helps to block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place.
Lasts 1 Day
› No STI Protection
The pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV (if left untreated, can cause AIDS). You should use a condom each time you have sex to prevent STIs.
› It takes discipline
You’ve got to remember to take your pill at the same time every day. Even on weekends or vacations. So, ask yourself: How good are you with stuff like that?
› predictable Periods
If you feel comforted by getting your period every month — and not having random spotting in between—this could be a good choice for you.
› Skipping Periods
In each pack of pills, there are usually pills of a different color (called placebo pills). If you want to skip your period, you can start a new pack instead of taking the placebo pills. It is safe for most folks. Keep in mind that you’ll need to refill your prescription sooner. Always consult your healthcare provider before skipping your period.
› Smokers Over 35, Beware
If you’re over 35, smoking on the pill increases your risk of certain side effects.
› The pregnancy question
Your ability to get pregnant will return immediately after you stop taking the pill. But if you’re not ready to get pregnant as soon as you stop, be sure to protect yourself with an alternate method.
› first months & beyond…
Most people adjust to using the pill pretty quickly but give yourself time. The most common (often temporary) side effects are irregular bleeding, sore breast/chest, nausea, spotting and decreased sex drive. If these are still causing discomfort after a few months, talk to your provider — you’re worth it!
› have a back-up
The pill takes about 7 days to get working the first time you use it, so use a back-up method, like a condom, during that time. In the case of an emergency (like method failure), consider using emergency contraception and talk to your provider.
Where Can I Get One?
Call a partner clinic to see if you qualify to receive this method at no or low cost.