Family Planning

Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills can be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken correctly. They contain two hormones — estrogen and progesterone — and prevent eggs from being released from the ovaries. The pills can also help improve acne problems, and decrease the chances of developing ovarian cysts and benign breast cysts.

Birth control pills are not effective at preventing pregnancy for the first seven days. Another form of birth control should be used during that time.

The Following Medications May Reduce Effectiveness of Birth Control Pills.

You may need to use another form of birth control while you are taking these medications.

  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline and some others
  • Antidepressants such as St. John’s Wort
  • Seizure medications such as Ritalin, dilantin, tegertol and phenobarbital
  • HIV medications
  • Antifungals – oral lamisil, nizoral and others

Possible Side Effects

  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea – if you can take it with food or at bedtime, this may go away
  • Spotting (this may go away after two to three months)
  • Very short / very light periods can be due to the change in hormones.  Some women get no period
  • Weight gain / fluid retention
  • Mood changes

Call the Doctor Right Away If You Have:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Headaches, weakness, dizziness, numbness in arm, leg, lips or tongue
  • Blurry vision or loss of vision
  • Severe leg pain or swelling in thigh or calf

Instructions for Use of Birth Control Pills

  • Take one birth control pill by mouth each day, at the same time of day. (For example: take one pill every morning at 8 am.)
  • Start your first pack of birth control pills on the first Sunday after your period begins.
  • If you MISS ONE PILL take it as soon as you remember. If this happens more than twice in the month, use a back up form of birth control.
  • If you MISS TWO PILLS take two pills as soon as you remember and take two pills the next day. Use a back up form of birth control for the rest of the month.
  • If you MISS THREE PILLS use back up form of birth control right away and start your next pack of birth control pills the very next Sunday. If you have been sexually active use another form of birth control until you get your period.

Missed Periods

  • If you have taken all pills correctly and have a very light period, keep taking your pills.
  • If you miss two periods in a row, call our office at (585) 279-4890.
  • If you miss any pills and a period, call our office at (585) 279-4890.


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Call (585) 279-4890

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Highland Family Planning