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How to Start Taking Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills

How to Start Taking Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills Image

How to start the pill

There is more than one way to start the pill. Starting the pill the first day of your period is best, but you can also start any other day if that is more convenient for you.

  • First day of period: If you are just starting POPs, it is best to take your first pill on the first day of your period.
  • Quick start: If you start the pill on any other day, you must use a backup method (like a condom) every time you have sex in the first 48 hours after starting the pill.

How to take the pill

Take one pill each day, at the same time of day until the pack is empty.

  • Every time you take a POP late (more than 3 hours after you are supposed to take it), or miss one entirely, you are more likely to get pregnant.
  • Tip: Set your phone alarm to go off at the same time each day to remind you to take your pill. Or sign up for reminders from Nurx and we will let you know when it’s time to take your next pill.

Once you finish a pack of pills, start a new pack the very next day. There is no break between packs.

Do not stop taking your pills during your period or if you have menstrual spotting between periods.

Do not skip pills even if you feel sick to your stomach (nausea).

Do not skip pills even if you don’t have sex very often.

What to do for a late or missed pill

If you are 3 hours or more late taking a pill, or you miss one or more pills:

  • Take one pill (even if you missed more than one) as soon as you remember that you missed it, then go back to taking one pill a day at your regular time, even if that means you take two pills in one day.
  • AND be sure to use a backup method (such as a condom) every time you have sex for the next 48 hours.

If you are not sure what to do about the pills you have missed, keep taking a pill at your normal time each day and use a backup method until you can talk with a doctor at Nurx or another health care provider.

If you had unprotected sex before you were back on the pill for 48 hours, and that’s within the last five days, you might want to take emergency contraception just in case.


This blog pro­vides infor­ma­tion about telemed­i­cine, health and related sub­jects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be con­strued as a substitute for, med­ical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or per­son with a med­ical con­cern should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.

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