How soon are you safe after starting birth control pills

Q: I was previously on birth control for almost 2 years and in the middle of April I stopped taking birth control pills. At the begining of June I started back on birth control again. Is it safe to have protected sex now with just the pill and without using another form of birth control, or do I have to wait an entire month after starting on birth control?

A: You will be protected from getting pregnant after 7 days of consistent use of birth control pills.  Consistent use means that you’re taking the pill every day at the same time (plus or minus 2 hours).  So basically, one week of birth control pills is enough to put the ovaries to sleep and keep you from getting pregnant.

However, having the phrases “protected sex” and “without using another form of birth control” in the same sentence makes us a little nervous.  We can not stress enough that birth control pills (or patches or shots or IUD’s) only protect you from getting pregnant.  They do NOT protect you from contracting sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, syphillis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, HPV, etc.  So please, please, please make sure that you are using other forms of barrier protection (condoms, dental dams) to protect yourself from contracting an STI.

Any Ohio State student (even thsoe without Student Health Insurance) can be seen at Student Health Women’s Services.  We now have 3 full-time health care providers (1 doctor and 2 nurse practitioners) who are available to consult with you for any concerns related to your reproductive health.  We encourage you to see us during your time at Ohio State wo we can help you maximize your health!

Li-Chun Liu, CNP – Ohio State Student Health Services

314 thoughts on “How soon are you safe after starting birth control pills

  1. Hi!! So This is my first time taking birth control, I started 12 days ago and have been taking it correctly. Last night however, my bf finished inside me! Am I protected ?

    • If you have been taking it as recommended by the manufacturer for 12 straight days without fail, then you should be protected against pregnancy.

      • Hi good day i already finish my 1pack of althea pills and then i go for a vacation and forgot to bring extra pill pack so i decided to take it 2 weeks after i finish my last pack is it safe??? And is it safe to have intercourse after taking my new pack for 7days?

  2. so i recently started taking birth control again and waited the 7 days. but during the 7 days i forgot to take a pill and just ended up taking 2 the next day. am i sex to have unprotected sex and my boyfriend ejaculate inside of me without getting pregnant?

  3. Hi I am a Diane user started last july 2017 to september 2017. And decided to change it to althea last october. And im on my 5th month now of using contraceptives but im going to have my 2nd month of using althea this november 2017. I started this month Nov. 6 2017 . But on my 6th and 7th day of november, that is nov 11 and 12. I have a unprotected contact with my husband. So i decided to stop using pills last november 13 and 14. Because im afraid if might get pregnant and dont want to have any problem if im really pregnant.

  4. My period start november 14 endded on november 18 and i unprotective sex at november 19 and i forget to take my first birth control pills at november 18 from 1week free i get pregnant?

  5. i had unprotected sex on the fourth day of my period, and i started taking birth control pills on the day before, it has only been a day after i had sex, so i have taken two pills so far. am i pregnant?

  6. Hi, I finished one pack of lady pills. After my last 7th day of free pill, I started taking other brand of pills. I switched to althea and I have intercourse, Im on 2days of taking the pills. Is it possible for me to get pregnant, I am still protected? Pls help. Thank you.

    • Different pills, different levels of hormones, really are starting all over again and so yes as you did not wait the seven days recommended by the manufacturer, you could be pregnant.

  7. Hi was suppose to get my next Depo injection Aug 22 -Sept 3 of 2017 but i got Off of it and have yet to receive my cycle sense then. Today i started taking bcp if i stop Taking them or do not continue as manufactured is it a possibility i could Get pregnant even tho i still Have not gotten my cycle ?

  8. Help. I’ve been on the pill for over 4yrs, maybe 5. My boyfriend, almost 3yrs together, and I had sex on the 6 of December and he finished inside me. I start my 7 day break on the 10. I take my pill as consistently as I can at 11:30pm. Maybe a few minutes apart. What are the chances of me getting pregnant? I could buy the plan B pill, but I don’t feel like I need it and it won’t do much by now.

  9. Hi I started the microgynon 30 ED pills last Saturday. I have continued to do so up to Wednesday this week, so I have had 5 tablets. I had unprotected sex on Wednesday at around 3:30pm and we didn’t use condoms or any other sort of protection. I’m really worried that I could be pregnant. Please help me out? Will I be pregnant if I took the pills for 5 days? Thanks. 🙂

    • Most manufacturers state that the pill should be taken for 7 days for maximum protection against pregnancy. As you did not wait the entire 7 days you will not have maximum protection and could become pregnant as a result.

    • It is never safe to have unprotected sex. With unprotected sex you are always at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STI). If you are asking if you are protected against pregnancy, then the answer to that question is also no. The majority of manufacturers recommend consistently taking the pill for 7 days to ensure maximum protection. If you do not follow these recommendations, then you do not have the full protection against pregnancy.

  10. Hi. My boyfriend and I had a contact. Lets I had a menstruation on Wednesday, and we intercourse on Saturday, is that safe? Another thing is I have taken birth control pills on the following week, Tuesday. But on Thursday we intercourse again (lets say the time is 3 am) and I take a birth control pill at around 7 pm. Is it still safe? Thanks!

    • In order to ensure protection against pregnancy, you must follow the manufacturers directions for your birth control product. Most manufacturers recommend taking the pill for at least 7 days at the same time each day to be fully protected against pregnancy. If you do not follow the manufacturers recommendations, then you do increase your change of pregnancy.

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