How do I start the progestin-only pill?
- Period Start: Start your pill the first day of your period if you are sure you are not pregnant – starting this way protects you from pregnancy immediately!
- Quick Start: Start your pill any other day in your cycle (even immediately) – use a backup method (like condoms) for at least 48 hours.
*Birth control pills do not protect against STIs and you should always use a condom if you are not 100% sure of your partner’s STI status.
I started my progestin-only pill, now what?
- Remember to take the pill at the same time every day (tip: set a daily alarm on your phone to remind you.)
- If you are late taking a pill (“late” is 3 hours or more after your usual time), take the missed pill right away (even if that means you take 2 pills in one day), and use a backup method (like condoms) until you have been back on the pill at your regular time for 48 hours.
More information visit our How do I start my birth control FAQ.
How effective is the pill?
The pill, patch, and ring are about 99% effective with perfect use. With typical use, they are about 91% effective. That means if there are 100 people using a method, about 9 will get pregnant yearly. It is important to pick a method that works best for you in terms of remembering to use it. For many people, it is easier to remember to change a ring once monthly rather than take a pill daily.
How do I skip my period on the pill?
If you use progestin-only pills containing norethindrone (also called POPs or mini-pills) you can’t skip periods because there is no placebo week with these pills. You are already taking an active pill every day and you must continue to do that for them to work. People on these pills usually experience very light periods, so there isn’t really anything to skip. Slynd, the drospirenone pill, is packaged as 21 active pills followed by 7 placebo pills. We do not know whether skipping periods is possible yet because the pill is too new. We don’t recommend it at this time.