An advanced oral contraceptive pill usually contains two hormones, progestin (desogestrel 150 mcg) and estrogen (ethinylestradiol 30 mcg). This combined OCP works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (called ovulation) during the menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal mucus thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (called fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg. If an egg does become fertilized, it is unable to attach to the uterus and passes out of the body.
It is 92% effective for an average user but when used exactly as prescribed it is 99.7% effective. ‘Exactly as prescribed’ means taking it at the same time, every day, without missing any pill.
If you start the pills within 5 days of when your period starts, you’ll be protected from pregnancy right away.
If you start the pills any other time, you’ll be protected from pregnancy after seven days of taking the pill. Use a back-up method of birth control — like a condom, if you have sex during the 7 days. After 7 days, you may stop using the backup method.
Before you start using an advanced OCP, talk to your doctor and tell him/her if you have any of the conditions mentioned below:
Yes. Your doctor will tell you about the benefits of using an advanced OCP and will make sure it is the right contraceptive solution for you.
Most advanced OCPs are in a 21-pill pack. Take one pill every day at the same time for 21 days. On the pack, each pill is marked with a day of the week on which it has to be taken. Take your pills at the same time each day and be as precise with timing as possible.
Stop taking pills for the next 7 days until your next menstrual cycle (often called a period) starts. Your period should begin during these 7 days. Usually it will start within 2-3 days after the last advanced OCP pill.
Start taking pills from your next pack on the 8th day, regardless of when your period started.
If you are less than 12 hours late in taking a pill, the reliability of the pill is maintained. Take the forgotten pill as soon as you remember and take the next pill at the usual time.
If you are more than 12 hours late, the reliability of the pill may be reduced. The more pills you miss and take at different times, lesser is the efficiency of an OCP.
If you forget to take 2 or more pills, you should take 2 pills every day until you are back on schedule. You should use extra contraception (such as a condom) for the next 7 days.
When taken correctly (this means taking a pill at the same time, every day, without missing any pill), advanced OCP is 99.7% effective. This means less than 1 in 100 women have a chance of becoming pregnant. With average use, an advanced OCP is 92% effective, which means approximately 8 out of 100 average users have a chance of becoming pregnant.
Yes. Stop using advanced OCPs when you want to get pregnant and consult your doctor. You will have a full return to fertility upon stopping use of advanced OCPs.
If you have just had a baby, your doctor may tell you to wait until your first normal period before you start taking an advanced OCP. Sometimes, it is possible to start sooner with your doctor’s advice. If you are breastfeeding and want to take avanced OCPs , you must discuss this with your doctor first.
Side effects reported by users include:
You should note, however, that side effects are fewer when taking an advanced oral contraceptive pill compared to other oral contraceptives. In particular, advanced OCP users have:
The side effects may occur in the first few months of using advanced OCPs and will lessen with time.
With the pills, you can have vaginal bleeding between your periods (called spotting) for the first few months. You may need to use sanitary protection and should continue taking your pills. The spotting will stop once your body adapts to changes caused by the pill.
If you have taken your pills at the right time and not suffered from diarrhea or have vomited, then continue taking the pills as usual. However, if you have missed two periods in a row, you may be pregnant and should consult your doctor immediately. Do not start the next pack of advanced OCP without consulting your doctor.
Before you start using advanced OCPs, talk to your doctor, especially if you have any of the conditions mentioned below:
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