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). If you are starting on a POP that contains the hormone Norethindrone, use a backup method (like condoms) for at least 48 hours. If you are starting on Slynd that contains drospirenone, use a backup method (like condoms) for at least 7 days.
*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 taking the POPs that contain the hormone norethindrone, taking a pill “late” means taking a pill 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.
- If you are taking the Slynd POPs that contains drospirenone, taking a pill “late” means taking a pill 24 hours or more after you took the last pill. Take the missed pill right away (even if that means you take 2 pills in one day). You are still protected from pregnancy as long as you’ve been taking the pills for longer than one week. If this is your first pack of these pills ever, you should use a backup method (like condoms) for one week. if you have missed more than one pill, please refer to our FAQ page.
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 light bleeding, so there isn’t really anything to skip.
Slynd, the drospirenone progestin-pill, is packaged as 24 active pills followed by 4 inactive/placebo pills. They can be used to try to skip periods by skipping the inactive pills and immediately starting a new pack of pills. We don’t recommend trying to skip periods during the first 3 packs while your body is still adjusting to the hormones. Irregular or breakthrough bleeding may continue to occur, although this typically improves after 3-6 months. If you do notice more breakthrough bleeding while skipping periods, we recommend allowing for a bleed while taking the inactive pills every 2-3 months.