“The Pill” is a pill. (How’s that for stating the obvious?) Some people call it “oral contraception.” You take it once a day, at the same time every day. There are lots of different kinds of pills on the market, and new ones come out all the time. Most work by releasing hormones that keep your ovaries from releasing eggs. The hormones also thicken your cervical mucus, which helps to block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place.view all methods »
These use an estrogen/progestin combo that works with your body to prevent ovulation. A monthly combination pill pack contains 3 consecutive weeks of hormone-based pills and a week of placebos that’ll bring on your period.
Better known as the mini-pill, these have no estrogen in them and are often prescribed if you’re sensitive to combination pills and having side effects. They release a small amount of progestin everyday of the month and don’t give you a period during a set week.
If you feel comforted by getting your period every month—and not having random spotting in between—this could be a good choice for you.
Some pills allow you to skip your period altogether, which BTW, is totally safe. Consider the possibilities!
For those over 35 years old, smoking while on the pill increases the risk of certain side effects. And if you’re younger, why not quit smoking now and save yourself the trouble in the future?
You will return to fertility (which just means that you go back to being able to get pregnant) just a few days after stopping the pill. So if you don’t want to get pregnant right away, make sure you start using an alternate method as soon as you stop taking the pill.
Don’t take our word for it. Check out the videos above to hear people talk about their experiences with the pill. And be sure to ask your health care provider which method is best for you.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, if you have health insurance, chances are good that you’ll be able to get this method with no out-of-pocket cost (the exception may be if you use a name brand that has a generic equivalent). BTW, the open enrollment period for 2019 is over, but you may still be able to get health coverage. Find out if you could be eligible for special enrollment.
If you don’t have insurance or Medicaid coverage, the pill averages anywhere from $10 to $113 per month, depending whether you go generic or name brand. Tip: There are many kinds, so be sure you and your health care provider find one that is right for you.
If you can swallow an aspirin, you can take the pill. But here’s the thing: You have to remember to take it every day, at roughly the same time, no matter what. (We can help with that. Just sign up for a reminder.)
Some pills come in 21-day packs. Others come in 28-day packs. Some give you a regular period every month. Others let you have your period once every three months. And some even let you skip your period for an entire year. There are so many different pills available, it can be a bit confusing. Your doctor or clinic can help you figure out which pill is right for you.
Try taking your pill at the same time you always do something else in your daily routine—like brushing your teeth.
Set up a free text message or email reminder with us.
Have a box of emergency contraception on hand, just in case you forget your pill sometime during the month and then have sex without a condom or other barrier method.
Positive “side effects”? You bet. There are actually lots of things about birth control that are good for your body as well as your sex life.
Everyone worries about negative side effects, but for many women, they’re not a problem. And if you do experience side effects, they’ll probably go away. Remember, you’re introducing hormones into your body, so it can take a few months to adjust. Give it time.
If you still feel uncomfortable after three months, switch methods and stay protected. You’re worth it.
*For a very small number of women there are risks of more serious side effects.
We’re here to get this method working better for you. And if it still doesn’t feel right, we’ve got ideas for other methods. Just remember: If you change methods, make sure you’re protected while you switch.
Been around for 50 years, easy to swallow, can have positive side effects.
The pill’s really effective when taken perfectly, but most don’t take it perfectly.
Most common are sore breasts, nausea, spotting, and decreased sex drive.
Every. Single. Day.
Gotta get a prescription.
As low as $0 or as high as $113 a month. Yeah, that’s a big range. Read why.
Of those who use the pill exactly as directed, fewer than 1 in 100 will experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year of using this method.
Of those who do not use the pill exactly as directed, about 7 in 100 will experience an accidental pregnancy during the first year of using this method.