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HomeAnswersInternal Medicinecombined oral contraceptive pillDo contraceptive pills protect during pill-free days?

Are the seven pill-free days after a pack protected?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At September 29, 2016
Reviewed AtApril 25, 2024

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am starting a pack of pill two weeks after my periods. After completing the pack will contraception start? Do I need to take the 7 pill free days after the first pack? Will remain protected during those seven days?


Welcome to icliniq.com. It appears you are taking a combination pill, a form of hormonal contraceptives that contains both estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone). These pills work by preventing ovulation and thickening cervical mucus to prevent pregnancy. For optimal effectiveness, start taking the combination pills within five days of the start of your period, and then you will not need additional contraception methods.

You can begin taking combination pills at any time, but it's crucial to be aware that it takes 7 days from the start of pill consumption to be fully protected against pregnancy. During the fourth week of the pill pack, you need not take any pills, and this will lead to withdrawal bleeding, similar to a menstrual period, while still providing protection against pregnancy. To ensure the pills' efficacy, take them consistently at the same time daily. If you vomit immediately after taking a pill, it is advised to take another one. Missing a pill can reduce its effectiveness, so it's essential not to skip any. In case you miss a period, there is no need to panic as irregular periods are common with hormonal contraceptives. However, it is a good idea to confirm the absence of pregnancy through a urine pregnancy test if you have any concerns. Keep in mind that contraceptive pills are not 100% foolproof, so if you have any doubts or experience any unusual symptoms, consult with your healthcare provider for further guidance.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

Will two hour time difference affect the efficiency of the pill?


Welcome back to icliniq.com. When taking the combined pill, it is crucial not to be more than 24 hours late with your dose. Maintaining regularity and punctuality is of utmost importance to ensure the best results and effectiveness of hormonal contraceptive pills. Adhering to the recommended schedule will help maximize the contraceptive benefits and minimize the risk of unintended pregnancy. Therefore, it is essential to take the combined pill at the same time every day to achieve optimal protection against pregnancy.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Geetha Priyadarsini Kamminana
Dr. Geetha Priyadarsini Kamminana

Internal Medicine

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