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How to use birth control pills correctly?

Gynaecology Medication & Prescriptions Women's Health

I've just ended my first month of birth control pills (Mercilon). I started taking them the 5th day into my period cycle. I have been consistent in taking them and only took one of the pills an hour late. When should I take the first pill in the new pack? I would appreciate any other general advice and tips on how to take them effectively. Thank you!

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)

It is good to hear that you are taking birth control pills (also known as oral contraceptive pill) regularly and on time. 

Mercilon is a combined oral contraceptive pill that contains both Estrogen and Progesterone, given in a pack of 21 pills per pack.

The correct way of taking the oral contraceptive pill is:

1. Take the pill consecutively for 21 days, after which you 

2. Stop the medication for 7 days ( your period will come in this 7 days that you stop the pill)

3. Start the new packet of pills after 7 days of stopping

I usually advice my patients, especially for those starting on birth control pills for the first time, to start the new pack on the first day of their period.

This is to minimise possible side effects such as breakthrough spotting or bleeding.

Oral contraceptive pills are extremely effective (up to 99%) in birth control if taken correctly.

If your main purpose for taking the birth control pill is for contraception, then it is important to take the pill at the same time every day to maximise the efficacy of the pill.

Hope this helps!


Dr Michelle Chia
MBBS

Dr Tan and Partners @ Bencoolen
The Bencoolen
180 Bencoolen Street #02-20
Singapore 189646

314 views 26 Dec 2018
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