COMBINED BIRTH CONTROL PILLS (“THE PILL”)
What is them the right way. They do good time to take your pill is
when you go to bed or when
not work if you do not follow
The Combined Pill? the directions your doctor or you brush your teeth.
nurse gives you.
The combined pill is a birth You will need to keep
control medicine that you take
by mouth that contains two How do you take birth taking pills all the time.
types of hormones: estrogen Start taking a new package
control pills? of pills the very next day after
Swallow one pill each day. you finish a package. Each
This must be done at about pack has 28 pills. The last
the same time each day so seven pills do not have any
the same amount of medicine medicine (hormones) in them.
(hormones) is in your body
They are put in the pill pack to
Start 2 3 4 5 6 7
at all times. The best way to
do this is to take your pill at keep you in the habit of taking
Start the same time each day you a pill every day. If you change
normally do something else. A your mind about taking pills,
keep taking them until you talk
How do pills work? TO BEGIN TAKING THE PILL… to your doctor or nurse and
Combined pills work by they tell you to stop.
IF YOUR TAKE
releasing female hormones in PERIOD YOUR FIRST
your body. BEGINS ON: PILL ON:
What if I forget to take
Sunday (same day) the pill?
• Keep the body from Any other The following If you forget to take a pill, take
releasing an egg that could be day Sunday it as soon as you remember
fertilized by a man’s sperm; it, even if it is the next day or
I should begin taking pills night. Then, take the next pill
• Cause changes to the on:______________________
cervical mucus making it more at the time you would
difficult for sperm to enter the START PILLS
PERIOD STARTED normally take it. In case an
uterus; or egg was released, use a latex
• Keep the fertilized egg from
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
condom each time you have
attaching to the uterus 1 2 3 4 5
sex until your next period. If
6 7 8 9 10 11 12 you miss more than two pills,
call your doctor, nurse or clinic
How well do pills work? 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 to find out what to do.
Combined pills work 99 27 28 29 30 31
percent of the time, if you take
CONTINUED ON BACK
MED FP - 07.10 ADPH-FHS-262 07.10.ch
Facts About Combined Birth Control Pills (“The Pill”)
Why are pills a good choice for me? How do I know if I have a serious
Pills are easy to use. When you take them the problem from taking combined pills?
right way, they work very well. Pills often cause If you have any of these warning signs, call
your periods to be shorter, lighter and more your doctor, nurse or clinic right away:
regular, with less cramping. Pills also decrease Other problems you can have are breast
a woman’s risk for ovarian and endometrial lumps, a sad feeling or yellowing of your eyes
cancer. or skin. Very few women have these problems.
Is there anyone who should not take When you take birth control pills, there
birth control pills? are a few things you need to do:
Most women take pills without having any pro- • IF YOU GET SICK, TELL YOUR DOCTOR OR NURSE YOU
blems. You should not take birth control pills if: ARE TAKING BIRTH CONTROL PILLS.
• IF YOU TAKE ANTIBIOTICS, HAVE DIARRHEA OR GET
1. YOU ARE PREGNANT OR THINK YOU MIGHT BE. SICK TO YOUR STOMACH, KEEP TAKING YOUR PILLS
BUT USE A LATEX CONDOM EACH TIME YOU HAVE
2. YOU HAVE A PAIN IN YOUR CHEST OR YOUR SEX UNTIL YOUR NEXT PERIOD.
EYEBALLS LOOK YELLOW.
3. YOU HAVE BLEEDING FROM YOUR VAGINA
Where can I get combined pills?
AND DON’T KNOW WHY. You can get pills or a prescription
4. YOU HAVE EVER HAD A HEART ATTACK, for pills at the health department, a
STROKE OR BLOOD CLOTS. family planning clinic or a doctor’s
5. YOU HAVE EVER HAD LIVER TUMORS
Can I breastfeed while taking
combined birth control pills?
A combined pill is not recommended
Will I have problems if I to be used when you breastfeed. You
take pills? should use a different type pill called a
Most women do not have problems when they progestin-only pill or mini-pill. This pill has no
take combined pills. You do have to remember affect on your breastmilk. Talk to your health-
to take them everyday. You may have nausea care provider about this pill if you plan to
or other minor symptoms during the first few breastfeed your baby.
packs. Serious complications such as blood
clots may occur but are rare. If you have a
problem, you may just need a different kind of
pill. Talk to your healthcare worker if problems Pills will not keep you from getting
occur. AIDS or any other disease
• BAD PAIN IN YOUR ARMS OR LEGS OR YOU LOSE you can get when you have sex.
FEELING. To protect yourself, use a latex condom
• HEADACHES, DIZZINESS OR FAINTING. each time you have sex.
• EYE PROBLEMS (IF YOU SEE FLASHING LIGHTS, HAVE
FUZZY VISION OR SUDDENLY CAN’T SEE). DOCTOR / CLINIC PHONE NUMBER:
• PAIN IN YOUR STOMACH OR BELLY, OR IF YOU GET
VERY SICK TO YOUR STOMACH ALL OF A SUDDEN.
This publication was made possible by a federal Title X Family Planning Grant.
MED FP - 07.10 ADPH-FHS-262 07.10.ch