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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » when does the pill become effective?

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Author Topic: when does the pill become effective?
eddis
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Member # 95509

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This is my first month on the pill. I started my pill on a random day of my cycle, about 2 weeks after my period ended. I understand that some sources say to wait seven days, while others have told me to wait the whole month.

What I'm wondering is, is it okay to skip the placebo week on the first packet of pills? I understand that the placebo week usually doesn't serve much of a purpose, but I was wondering if it was important since I may have ovulated.

I'm traveling to a small village during my placebo week, so I would really prefer NOT to be bleeding at that time, but I do want the pills to become effective by the second month.

Sorry if this is a dumb question!

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September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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When you start the pill on the first day of your period, or the first Sunday after, you can usually rely on its full protection by the end of the first week. When you take it at another point in your cycle, you will want to wait to rely on its protection until the end of the first pack.

Whether or not you have your placebo week doesn't have much to do with effectiveness. But I would recommend that you do not skip the placebo week at this point, and give your body a chance to get used to the way the pill works, first.

It is also worth keeping in mind that one of the most common side effects of starting the pill is irregular bleeding. During the first three or so months, it is hard to make any predictions in terms of your bleeding. So, skipping the withdrawal week may not do you much good, as you may have spotting, or a full-blown bleed, anyway.

If you still do want to chance it, I suggest that you call your gynecologist first, just to check in and make sure it is okay.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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