How to take your birth control pill properly


Many women take contraceptive pills to prevent unwanted pregnancy but a high percentage of them do not take their pills properly.

This birth control method is only effective against pregnancy if it is taken every day without forgetting it even once. Research shows that 1 in 5 of unplanned pregnancies are due to not taking oral contraception correctly.

The contraceptive pill works by fooling your body into thinking that it is not pregnant so that you don’t ovulate. If you forget, ovulation may occur, increasing the possibilities of pregnancy throughout the rest of the cycle. You will only be “safe” again after your next period.

You need to establish a routine, using simple methods, such as:

- link taking your pill with a daily activity that takes place at the same time each day (after lunch, for instance, rather than breakfast as you may have breakfast later on the weekend),
- take it at the same time every day,
- ask your partner to help you remember,
- set a daily alarm or reminder on your cell phone,
- leave your pill where it is easily visible.

Keep a package of pills or a few pills in a pillbox in your purse just in case you are not at home when you should be taking your pill, or in case of emergency. It is also a good idea to use a calendar, marking it when you have taken your pill, and showing your pill-free days. This also helps you to plan your schedule, as you will know when to expect your period.

Ask your doctor to prescribe a pill that comes in a package of 28 pills, meaning that you continue to take a pill during your period. These dummy tablets usually contain iron instead of hormones.

IMPORTANT: you need to use another form of birth control until after your next period if:

- you forget to take your daily pill,
- you are sick and vomit,
- you are taking antibiotics.

Remember that birth control pills are not totally infallible and a small percentage of women do fall pregnant whilst taking them, so you need to learn how to take them properly to help increase their effectiveness.

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