Birth control pills are a very common method of prevention of undesired pregnancy. Even though once there was a lot of controversy and speculation surrounding this form of birth control, today the pill is absolutely safe and very effective in preventing the pregnancy. However, in order for it to be as effective as it is supposed to, the pill must be taken exactly as it is prescribed and instructed.
Many women, especially young girls, wonder how much time it has to pass before the birth control pill starts working. In order to answer that question, it is necessary to understand how to pill actually works.
Birth control pill
Birth control pills come in different varieties but all of them are based on hormones. These artificial or chemical hormones change the way in which a woman’s body works to produce and release the egg. They basically stop the ovaries from producing an egg each month. If there is no egg, it is obvious there cannot be pregnancy either, because there is nothing there to be fertilized by the sperm.
The two main types of birth control pill are combination pill and mini-pill. Combination pill uses a combination of hormones to prevent the ovulation while the mini-pill, which contains only progesterone, changes the mucus at the cervix so the sperm cannot reach the egg.
Birth control pill does not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases, which is why it is important to also use a condom.
How long does it take for the birth control pill to work?
It is believed that the longer a woman takes the pill, the protection against unwanted pregnancy becomes higher and more efficient. Most pills do not work immediately, and doctors usually recommend their patients to wait until the next menstruation before relying completely on the pill. This basically means that during the first several weeks, or approximately 28 days, of taking the pill a woman should use a condom if she does not want to become pregnant.
It is best to start the pill the first day of the menstruation. The pill is supposed to be taken each day at approximately the same time. If one pill is skipped, the chances of becoming pregnant are increased. If two or more are skipped, the pill is no longer effective. If a pill is skipped, the next one should be taken when supposed to, the following day. Taking two pills at once to make up for the skipped one is not effective or recommended.
In addition, the pill may become ineffective due to severe vomiting or diarrhea that occur in some gastrointestinal diseases.