How do I use the combined pill?
The most common COCs (combined oral contraceptives) are the monophasic 21day pills. Each pill has the same amount of hormone in it. One pill is taken each day for 21 days and then no pills are taken for the next seven days.
- Women should take the first pill from the packet marked with the correct day of the week, or the first pill of the first color (phasic pills).
- She should continue to take a pill at the same time each day until the pack is finished. Then she should stop taking pills for seven days (during these seven days most women will have bleeding, which is normally less intense than her menstrual period). This bleeding is due to withdrawal of hormones and it isn’t a physiological menstruation.
- She should start the next pack of pills on the eighth day, whether she is still bleeding or not and also if she did not have any bleeding.
The pill is designed to be taken every day for 21 days at the same time of day. When taking her first pill, she should choose a convenient time. Usually it is easier if she links the taking of the pill with a daily routine (for example, when she brushes her teeth in the morning). The pill can be taken at any time of day but ideally should be taken at the same time every day for the best protection.