Info For Teens
Ask the Experts
Can you start going on the pill on the second day? I don’t know when my first day officially started. It was light last night, but my heavy flow started today. I am picking up my birth control pill prescription today and I wanted to know if I would have to wait for another month to get started or not.
You can start taking your pill when you pick up your prescription — there’s no reason to wait. In fact, you can start taking the birth control pill at any point throughout the month, but the time it takes for the pills to take effect depends on what kind of pill you’re taking.
Most women use combination pills that have the hormones estrogen and progestin. For combination pills, if you start the pack within the first five days of the start of your period, pregnancy protection begins right away. If you start at any other point in your menstrual cycle, pregnancy protection begins after seven days. So you’ll need to use a back-up method, like condoms, if you have sex during that week.
For progestin-only pills, protection begins after 48 hours, no matter where you are in your menstrual cycle. (Check with your health care provider if you’re not sure which kind of pill you’re taking.)
So there’s no need to ever wait for the first day of your period to start taking birth control pills — you can start whenever you like! At the longest, you’ll only have to wait seven days for the pills to start being effective.