210 Family Planning
➤ If you are given a
new medicine while
on the pill, ask your
health worker if you
should use a barrier
method or not have
sex while taking
the medicine. Some
antibiotics and other
medicines make the
pill less effective.
Warning signs for problems with combined pills:
STOP taking the pill and see a health worker if you:
• have severe headaches with blurred vision (migraines) that
begin after you start taking the pill.
• feel weakness or numbness in your arms or legs.
• feel severe pain in your chest and shortness of breath.
• have severe pain in one leg.
• have severe pain in the abdomen.
If you have any of these problems, pregnancy can
also be dangerous, so use another type of family
planning such as condoms until you can see
a health worker trained in hormonal family
How to take combined birth control pills:
The pill comes in packets of 21 or 28
tablets. If you have a 28-day packet, take one
pill every day of the month. As soon as you
have finished one packet, begin taking pills
from another packet.
(The last 7 pills in a 28-day packet are
made of sugar.They have no hormones in
them.These sugar pills help you to remember
to take a pill each day.)
28-Day Pill Packet
21-Day Pill Packet
If you have a 21-day packet, take a pill
every day for 21 days, then wait 7 days
before beginning a new packet. Your
monthly bleeding will usually happen during
the days you are not taking pills. But begin
a new packet even if your monthly bleeding
has not come.
With both 21-day and 28-day packets, take the first pill on the first day of your
monthly bleeding. This way you will be protected right away. If it is after the first
day, you can start taking a pill on any of the first 7 days of your monthly cycle. But
you will not be protected right away, so for the first 2 weeks you are taking the pill
you should also use another family planning method or not have sex.
You must take one pill every day, even if you do not have sex.Try to take your
pill at the same time every day. It may help to remember that you will always start
a new packet on the same day of the week.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012