Is the pill effective immediately after I begin taking it?

The birth control pill may start to be effective after 5 days of taking it, however I would suggest that women continue to use condoms 100% of the time for safer sex and STD prevention ongoing and at least for the first month of starting the pill as a new user for several reasons.

Unfortunately on average- most women on the pill miss, or takes late, at least 3 pills per package! This drastically reduces the protection against pregnancy.  The pill does not protect from HIV or Sexually Transmitted Infections {STD} so that is why we continue to urge women of ALL AGES to use Condoms for Safer Sex protection, at any age when entering new sexual relationships. 

With a new pill user I’m especially concerned that they are not yet in a habit of taking the pill daily on time, so using back up is really wise for at least the first month, and ongoing for infection prevention.

The birth control pill really does need some time to work and prevent pregnancy- and the best protection is achieved with perfect use- taking it every day at the same time. Most women likely benefit from using it for at least a full package or full month when a new user, to get optimal protection. 

I hope that information helps, but certainly talk further with your GYN practitioner for specific advice in your personal situation as well!

Picture of birth control methods

Continue Learning about Birth Control Pill

Birth Control Pill

Birth Control Pill

Birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone to suppress ovulation and prevent pregnancy. Common side effects include bleeding between periods, nausea, weight gain, breast tenderness, mood changes and mild headaches. The ...

birth control pill is one of the most popular and effective contraceptive methods available. When taken correctly -- at the same time every day -- they are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.