Birth Control Pill Questions
When should I start taking my BCP?
-Begin the first Sunday after your period starts. For example: If period begins Mon - Sat, start BCP on Sunday.
-If period begins Sunday, start BCP that same day. Starting BCP while you are having a period will not shorten that period.
What should I do if I forget a pill?
-Take it as soon as you remember. If it has been longer than 4 hrs. past your usual time you should use a back-up method until you begin your period on the spacer pills.
You may have break- through bleeding on your hormone pill from taking a pill late. This can last from a couple of days to 1 week.
-If you miss your pill by an entire day, take 2 pills (the missed pill and the correct pill at your next usual pill time). This can cause nausea, so take them with food. Use a back-up method until you begin your period on the spacer pills.
-If you miss 2 pills, take 2 BCP's one day and 2 BCP's the next. This can cause nausea so take them with food. Use a back-up method until you begin your period on the spacer pills.
-If in doubt, always use a back-up method (foam, condom, or contraceptive sponge) until your period begins on the spacer pills.
-Breakthrough bleeding can happen when BCPs are taken late or missed.
How late can I take my BCP and have it be effective?
-You can take it 4 hours early or 4 hours late without changing the effectiveness.
What do I do if I lose a BCP?
-Take the next day's BCP in its place. (Do this even if the next day's pill is a different color.) You will be one BCP short at the end of the hormone pills which will probably cause your period to begin 1 day early during the spacer pills. This will not lower the effectiveness of BCPs.
-If you have diarrhea or vomiting, use a back-up method (foam, condom, contraceptive sponge) until your next period.
What do I do if I have no bleeding on my spacer pills?
-If you have missed a pill or taken one late, a pregnancy test should be performed.
-Increased stress can cause a missed period without missing any BCPs. If you desire, a pregnancy test can be done to decrease your stress level.
-Sometimes when taking BCPs the lining in the uterus isn't thick enough to cause period bleeding to occur on the spacer pills. A pregnancy test can be performed to reassure you. You will probably have bleeding on your spacer pill the following cycle, if not you should make an appointment to see the Nurse Practitioner.
How soon can I have a pregnancy test?
-The test is accurate 10 days after conception.
-Use only a first AM specimen. This is the most accurate.
-Keep specimen refrigerated if specimen is obtained more than 1/2 hr before testing.
-No alcohol, marijuana, aspirin or Advil the night before the test.
-You may take your BCP (if applicable). It will not effect the test result.
What drugs can make BCP less effective?
-Epilepsy medications - Tegretol, Dilantin, Mysoline
-Antibiotics - Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Penicillin
-Ringworm medication - Fulvicin, Grifulvin
-Tuberculosis medication - Rifampin
-Barbiturates - Phenobarbital
Early Birth Control Pill Danger Signs
A - Abdominal pain (severe)
C - Chest pain (severe) cough, shortness of breath
H - Headaches (severe) dizziness, weakness or numbness
E - Eye problems (vision loss or blurring), speech problems
S - Severe leg pain (calf or thigh)
If you develop any of the above symptoms seek medical attention immediately.
-Call or see your practitioner if you develop depression, yellowing of the skin (Jaundice) or a breast lump.
What else should I know?
-The BCP can make your skin sun burn easier (increased photosensitivity). Always use sunscreen.
-The BCP does not give you any protection against the AIDS virus or sexually transmitted diseases. Latex condoms with a spermicide containing nonoxynol-9 are recommended to reduce the chance of transmitting or catching a sexual transmitted disease.