When I went to the doctor she said to wait until the first day of my period to start taking the pills, what would happen if I started taking them before I actually started.
You need to wait until either day 1 of your period or the Sunday after your period starts to start the pill. the reason for this is to prevent ovulation. This is the main effect of birth control pills, to prevent ovulation. If you start just anywhere in your cycle, you cannot be sure whether or not you have ovulated or when enough medication has been taken to prevent ovulation. This makes it more difficult to know when you are "safe". Another issue is by taking them just anywhere in your cycle will make it more difficult for your body to synch with the pill. Your body has a natural cycle of releasing hormones. This is different from the pills hormones so the pill will suppress your natural hormones. By starting at period time, it is easier on your body to synch with the hormones in the pill and will cause less problems like bleeding unexpectantly, spotting midcycle, skipping periods etc. You may experience some of this anyway but it will be worse if you start anywhere else in your cycle other than period time. Pills work by first preventing oulation but they also thin the lining of the uterus. The uterus develops a nice bloody, plushy lining in preparation for a fertilized egg each month. If there is no egg fertilized then this lining is shed as our "period" By thinning this lining, the uterus is less hospitable for a fertilized egg and as a result you get the lighter periods that most women experience while on the pill. Another thing that birth control pills do is they thicken cervical mucus and this makes it harder for sperm to "swim" to the egg. Sperm only live so long-about 36 hours or so. If it is harder for the sperm to swim to find the egg, if one happens to be released, then they are likely to die before reaching the egg and this offers a little extra protection too. So be patient and wait for your period to start and begin the pills then. You still need to use back up for a period of time before you are considered safe anyway. Manufacturers claim that if you start day 1 of your period that you are safe after seven days of taking the pill. Most Drs and family planning clinics like to be a little safer and tell their women to wait and use back up, like condoms, for a full cycle of pills then are considered safe once you start your second pack. This is truly the safest way to approach birth control. If you have multiple partners or are unsure of your partners sexual history, you will want to use condoms anyway to protect against STDs. Also, if you tend to miss pills, it is best to alwasy use condoms as back up. Try to take your pills at roughly the same time every day. Set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you. Remeber that antibiotics reduce the effectiveness of the pill so if you are put on antibiotics, you need to use back up condoms for the whole time you are on antibiotics and for at least seven days after you finish.
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen Information for Consumers
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Ortho Tri-Cyclen (detailed)
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