Of women who use this method each year, about nine women may become pregnant on the combined pills, and five may become pregnant on the mini-pills. The risk of pregnancy is much less for women who take the pill correctly—every day at about the same time.
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Certain medications such as Rifampin an antibiotic taken to treat tuberculosis , some anti-seizure medications, and supplements such as St. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any questions about birth control pills and other medications or supplements. You may need a prescription from your healthcare provider, depending on the state where you are getting birth control pills. Once you have a prescription, birth control pills can be purchased at pharmacies or obtained from a health center, including a family planning center.
Condoms add extra protection against pregnancies and STDs when used with other birth control methods. Learn More About Condoms. To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below. Washington, D. Skip to main content. Birth Control Pill Quick Facts Of women who use this method each year, about five to nine of them may become pregnant.
The risk of pregnancy is lower in women who take birth control pills correctly—every day at about the same time.
What is the birth control pill? How do I use it? How effective is it? You will be protected against pregnancy straight away. If you start the pill later than 21 days after giving birth, you will need additional contraception such as condoms for the next seven days. If you are breastfeeding, you're not advised to take the combined pill until six weeks after the birth. Some medicines interact with the combined pill and it doesn't work properly.
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Some interactions are listed on this page, but it is not a complete list. If you want to check your medicines are safe to take with the combined pill, you can:. The antibiotics rifampicin and rifabutin which can be used to treat illnesses including tuberculosis and meningitis can reduce the effectiveness of the combined pill.
Other antibiotics do not have this effect. If you are prescribed rifampicin or rifabutin, you may need additional contraception such as condoms while taking the antibiotic. Speak to your doctor or nurse for advice. The combined pill can interact with medicines called enzyme inducers. These speed up the breakdown of hormones by your liver, reducing the effectiveness of the pill. Your GP or nurse may advise you to use an alternative or additional form of contraception while taking any of these medicines.
There are some risks associated with using the combined contraceptive pill. The oestrogen in the pill may cause your blood to clot more readily.
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If a blood clot develops, it could cause:. The risk of getting a blood clot is very small, but your doctor will check if you have certain risk factors that before prescribing the pill. The pill can be taken with caution if you have one of the risk factors below. These include:.
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Research suggests that users of all types of hormonal contraception have a slightly higher chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared with women who do not use them. However, 10 years after you stop taking the pill, your risk of breast cancer goes back to normal.
Contraception is free to all women and men through the NHS. Places where you can get contraception include:. If you want advice about changing your contraceptive pill, you can visit your GP, contraceptive nurse sometimes called a family planning nurse , or sexual health clinic. You should not have a break between different packs, so you will usually be advised to start the new pill immediately or wait until the day after you take the last of your old pills. You may also be advised to use alternative methods of contraception during the changeover, as the new pill may take a short time to take effect.
If you're under 16 and want contraception, the doctor, nurse or pharmacist won't tell your parents or carer as long as they believe you fully understand the information you're given, and your decisions.
Doctors and nurses work under strict guidelines when dealing with people under They'll encourage you to consider telling your parents, but they won't make you. The only time that a professional might want to tell someone else is if they believe you're at risk of harm, such as abuse. The risk would need to be serious, and they would usually discuss this with you first.
Page last reviewed: 6 July Next review due: 6 July These pills are taken every day and prevent pregnancy by keeping the ovaries from releasing eggs. The pills also cause cervical mucus to thicken and the lining of the uterus to thin. This keeps sperm from meeting with and fertilizing an egg. This keeps sperm from reaching the egg. Less often, mini-pills prevent pregnancy by keeping the ovaries from releasing eggs.
One pill is taken daily for three weeks, followed by one week of not taking pills. Some newer formulations have increased the number of active pills to 24 and reduced the inactive pills to four. With all combined pill formulations, protection against pregnancy continues during the week that no active pills are taken. Like combined pills, it is important to take mini-pills every day and to take them at the same time each day. If you are late taking a mini-pill by more than three hours, you will need to not have sex or use an additional type of birth control such as a condom or sponge for two consecutive days to prevent pregnancy, but continue also to take the mini-pill every day.
All types of birth control pills should be taken exactly as directed by your healthcare provider, even on days when you do not have sex. Of women who use this method each year, about nine women may become pregnant on the combined pills, and five may become pregnant on the mini-pills. The risk of pregnancy is much less for women who take the pill correctly—every day at about the same time.
Certain medications such as Rifampin an antibiotic taken to treat tuberculosis , some anti-seizure medications, and supplements such as St. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any questions about birth control pills and other medications or supplements. You may need a prescription from your healthcare provider, depending on the state where you are getting birth control pills.