Q. I am taking birth control pill for the first time. When will it start working?

Answered by
Dr. Navajith Mani
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 28, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am using the birth control pill for the first time, but I am not sure of the start date of the pill, whether I took the pill on the last day of my previous cycle or the first day of the present cycle. My query is, when will it start working?

Kindly help.



Welcome to

The most commonly prescribed pill is the combined hormonal pill with estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that prevents pregnancy, and the estrogen will control menstrual bleeding. Birth control pills are primarily used to avoid pregnancy.

Combined oral contraceptive pills are to be taken daily at the same time. When you start the contraceptive pills, you are not protected from pregnancy in the first seven days, and an alternative method of birth control is recommended during this period.

If you miss a tablet, take the missed tablet as soon as you remember and the next tablet at the usual time (taking two pills in a day). If you miss two tablets in a row in the first or second week, take two tablets the day you remember and two tablets the next day, then resume one tablet per day.

Avoid taking them more than 24 hours apart as this could affect efficacy.

I hope this helps.


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