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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > How to Take Birth Control Pills
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Birth control pills come in packs. The most common type has 3 weeks of hormone pills. Some packs have sugar pills for the fourth week. During that fourth no-hormone week, you have your menstrual period. After the fourth week (28 days), you start a new pack.
Some birth control pills are packaged so that you take hormone pills continuously for a period of time. With pills packaged in this way, you may not have a monthly period or you may only have a period every couple of months.
There are several ways you can start taking your first pack of pills. Talk with your doctor about when to start taking your pills:
Take your hormone pills every day, at about the same time of day. To stay on track and prevent pregnancy, try these easy tricks:footnote 1
Nelson A (2007). Combined oral contraceptives. In RA Hatcher et al., eds., Contraceptive Technology, 19th ed., pp. 193–270. New York: Ardent Media.
Current as of:
February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineRebecca Sue Uranga
Current as of: February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Rebecca Sue Uranga
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