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

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

  1. I started the pill on the 23rd of august and got caught in the moment of sex and my boyfriend came in me. (This was one the 28th of august) i had sex 6 days into using the pill. Could i be pregnant!??? I need answers asap

    • I’ve only taken the first two days of my pills and had an accident. Can I take the plan b and continue on the birth control pills? Or should I just take the plan b and the resume the pills later?

    • I’ve been taking the pills for three weeks correctly just about a week ago I took one hours later but then came back on track, yesterday by partner came inside me. Should I be worried or am I safe?

  2. Okay, so this is my first time on the pill, I’m 24, have one kid, don’t need anymore.. so going on, started taking it last Sunday, and finished the green pills(1st week), started on the light blue(2nd week), now I always take my pill at 8 pm sharp, but last night slipped my mind when shopping, and took it basically 3 to 4 hours late. Now is that a bad thing? And also I had unprotected sex on Sunday which was the start of my 2nd week pills(light blue).. should I worry, even though he pulled out, but he is very potent, even with pre ejaculation.

    • Are the green pills the ones taken during your period? If so, then you are not protected as these are placebo pills. The purpose of these placebo pills is to keep you in the habit of taking your pill each and every day.

      If the green pills are not the ones taken during your period, then you had at least 7 days on these pills and you are following the recommendations of the manufacturer.

  3. So I stopped taking the contrceptive pill because I wasn’t sexually active I started them again on Friday but had unprotected sex Friday and Saturday but took the pill Friday Saturday Sunday and carried on could I be pregnant if so could I damage It from taking the pill

  4. I don’t no it only happened this weekend I’m scared of hurting the baby if I could be as I lost a baby 3 months ago I was 6 weeks pregnant would you stop taking the pill to be safe I don’t want to hurt it if I was pregnant

  5. Hello so stopped taking my pills because I needed a refill I was on my menstral that week. So I didn’t take it that Wednesday got my Rx that Friday and immediately started that pack i had unprotected sex three days after I started the new pack how big are the possibility I can get pregnant.

  6. Hi. I have a lot of questions. And I hope you can aswer them.

    I have been in Diane-35 for 4 months now. I have been taking them regularly. Although I take them 2-4 hours earlier or later everyday. Between 8-11PM. I had sex with my boyfriend twice. First when I’m 5 days into my new pack of Diane-35 and the second, I was already in my 12th pill. We used withdrawal method. But I am still scared bec of the pre-cum. And these are my first time for sex.

    1. Do you have to wait for the 7th pill of the new pack before having sex? Even if I have been using it for 4 mos now (Diane-35)
    2. Does my time of drinking it affects the efficiency? Bec in the instructions, it says there that with less 12 hours of missed pill, the contraceptive efficiency will not be reduced. And I have a hard time keeping track of time.
    3. Can I use Nordette as ECP (4 pills at once then 4 pills again after 12 hrs) even when I take Diane-35 everyday?

    I am really trying to prevent pregnancy. Please help.

  7. I just started birth control and on the second day since i started, i had unprotected sex, (so no condom, just the pill), plus Im on my period day 2… Can I still get pregnant?

  8. Okay I just started taking the pill Sunday September 11, 2016. I think my boyfriend finished inside me. Am I at risk for pregnancy/ectopic pregnancy? I’m new to birth control but I just want to make sure.

  9. Hi! Im on BC for almost 3yrs. My last period was on aug 27 until 31. Started my pills on aug31. Missed my pills on sept 7, 8, 9 & 10 with unprotected sex. Then i never resume my pills. Since me and my partner decided to have a baby. Then i started bleeding (which is heavy. Not like my usual mens) on sept 11 until now. My expected date of mens will be on sept 24. Oh i took the PT on sept 12. It was negative. Am i possible pregnant?

  10. I was off my birth control pill on, august 24th. I got the Implanon on September 1st. I had unprotected sex everyday before i got the Implanon and he did cum inside of me each time. I have been having boob aces and my stomach hasn’t stopped hurting in a couple days or so. Is it likely that i am pregnant?

  11. Hi so I had the shot for two months and I was due to get the shot again on September 26th instead I switched over to the pill on Sunday September 18th. My boyfriend and I had sex and he finished in me on September 20th. I had only been switched over to the pill for two days. We then had sex again two days later and he finished in me again. I have been getting pain in my ovaries is there any chance I am pregnant?

    • I have always been on birth control since I was in 10th grade of high school I am now a sophomore in college I have just switched it up

  12. I’m 15 years old am I allowed to take birth control ? Cuss my boyfriend didn’t cum inside me but we did have unprotected sex but he pulls out before he comes can I be pregnant ? This is my first time having sex it’s his first time to do can we get STDS AIDS or HIV? Please I need answers asap I’m freaking out

    • Be aware I’m not a doctor but from experience. Yes you can use birth control even though you’re 15. A lot of young teens get scared of having unprotected sex because of teen pregnancy but you can definitely get on birth control. Another thing, it is recommended to use condoms until 7 days if you do choose to take birth control pills but other forms of birth controls may differ ask your doctor for any further questions. Also teens only focus on pregnancy but not STDs it is best that you make sure to get yourself tested just incase although it is your first time but just to make sure. Birth control does not prevent STDs or HIV it just prevents pregnancy. So use condoms til further notice.

  13. I already had my period last month. About a week or so after, was when I started taking birth control. I’ve been taking the pill everyday at the same time, just missed one about 5 days ago (because it fell somewhere) but other than that I’ve been taking every pill. I have 1 left & have my 7 placebo pills left. Am I safe to have unprotected sex with my bf now, due to the fact that I didn’t start birth control anytime during my period? & Could you have unprotected sex during the placebo pills? One more thing, my period is late by 4 days, but I’ve been cramping really bad, so does that mean that I’ll be getting my period during the placebo pills?

  14. Don’t take birth control on a regular, finish my cycle on October 7th had unprotected sex on October 9th then on October 11th i took 3 birth control pills as a form of morning after pill 2 white and 1 brown pill could i still be at risk of getting pregnant please help i need to know.

  15. So i started the pill for the first time a week and a half ago. I took it everyday at 7 am sharp other then on weekend because i alway slept through my alarm i so i wluld end up taking it at like 10am. The other day my boyfriend ended up not pulling out and so with the fear of being pregnant i stoped taking the pill. Could i be pregnant or have i been pn the pill long enough? Again i was on it for 11 days but missed my exact time on weekend.

  16. Hi my period was finish last sept 26 2016 and I start take my pills at September 27. I had sex October 1 and 3. Is it possible I will get pregnant

  17. So I had an protected sex he pulled out so nothing inside me I took 9 days worth of birth control at the same time that night and the next day i took the plan b pill can i still get pregnant???

  18. Help! I’ve been taking my birth control pill for 3 months now (on time and everything) and have had no problems BUT I’ve only chosen to have my period during one round of the pills. I’d like to get my period again but I am confused about safety – my boyfriend and I had unprotected sex and he came in me. I know there’s a good chance I’m protected by the birth control but is it safe to get my period? Can I get pregnant during my time of period because I don’t take the pill during that time? Do I just get my period and carry on with the pills after and I’m safe?

  19. okay so i have recently had a child and ive been on birth control about a month after i had her so ive been on BC for 3 months straight now an me an my husband never use a condom always the pull out method an so last weekend we had sex an he did not pull out but i find myself spotting could that be a sign of urly pregnancy its not time for my period either i shouldnt have one for another 2 weeks

  20. So I started a new pack of pills on November 6th and I was on the 5th pill of the new pack and my Boyfriend and I had unprotected sex today (November 11), but he doesn’t know if he ejaculated (I know even without ejaculation there is a chance of pregnancy). I do know the manufacturer said 7 constant pills for FULL protection , that’s two pills off…. I took tonight’s (November 11ths) pill a few hours after and will continue taking them.. what are the chances of being pregnant if he did happen to have ejaculated ? Also would I get stomach pain and/or nausea a few hours after interiors if I did conceive?

  21. I started bc pills for first time the 4th. Just a little extra input I had my period October 28- Nov 3. I had unprotected sex the 4th and 5th. He ejaculated in me. I took my pill for the 5th. Missed the 6th. So I took two the 7th. I spotted the 7 and the 8th. Not all day long but a few hours out each day. It’s was a brown color with a hint of red. I missed 3 pills since the 7th. I had sex twice the 10th both times he ejaculated in me. If I was to ovulate it would be today the 11th. I’ve had my common symptoms I usually have with ovulation. A few hours later. I woke up and peed there was Bright pink streak marks when I peed. My second time peeing there has been small blood clots. Not many. Still the pink streaks of blood all this in egg white cervical mucus. I know I started bleeding a little heavier the 11th. It stopped the 14th which is today. Someone told me this is due to breakthrough bleeding because of me missing my pills. Also I still could’ve ovulated because this is my first time on pills && I only took 4 pills my first week. Missing one pill and having to double up. I’ve only took 2 this week. So out of 10 days being on the pill I’ve only taken 6 pills having to double up twice so I’ve only taken pills 4 days out of the 10! Could I end up pregnant ?

  22. so i started my birthcontrol pills for cramps on october 16 nd had sex w my boyfriend on october 28 nd he came in me and recently on november 5-11 my period skipped amd i have been reciving pregnancy symptoms but i dont know if ots bc im pregnant or it is my pills, i was suppose to start this month but didnt, plz answer/ help asap

  23. I am a 14 year old female i started my birth control patch a little under a week ago but it fell off, my period ended 1 week 1 day ago but today i had unprotected sex and he cane in me, could i be pregnant?

  24. I just finished my 7 day break on the pill and I took it again the Saturday for day one and that night I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend! Am I protected even though I just started

  25. So I’ve been taking my pills on time for almost 3 weeks now. Almost at least. I’m on my 3rd week but today being Thursday. I missed my pill on Saturday and caught up Sunday and was consistent till then. I had Sex with my boyfriend last night and he came in me. Is there a slight chance I may get pregnant or am I safe? I need to know. I’m going to take Plan B tomorrow just in case.

  26. i have taken my pills for 13 days and had unprotected sex with my boyfriend is there a possible to get pregnant?

  27. I take the 21 day pill I just came off my 7 day break but how soon after resuming my pill is it safe to have sex

  28. I didn’t pick up my birth control in time. I missed the first two pills. So I too kind 2 one day and 2 the next. A week after I took one pill getting back to normal my boyfriend came in me, two weeks before my period. It wasn’t a lot of cum, but just a little bit. I’ve taken some pills around 3 in the morning but my normal time is 12. I started my green pills Sunday night. I always start on Wednesday. Tonight I accidentally took two extra green pills. Please help.

  29. Hello i need you girls or Dr. help . I started on birth control pills on a november 29 witch was a tuesday , today is wendsday december 7 so i been on birthcontrol for about 8 days and my fiance came in me as we can say on monday december 5 but continued takeing the pills at the same time . Today is the 7 and i wonder if i could be pregnant or if i dont take them anymore could i end up pregnant ? From him going on me that monday ? plsssss guys help a girl here lol

  30. Hi! I’m not 19 years old and I was using condoms with my SO for about three months. I decided to go on the pill, waited until my period started to take it, 5 days later it ended. I was taking it consistently at 7:30am on the dot for those 5 days and have been continuously afterwards too. We had unprotected sex the day my period ended (day 5), and he came inside of me twice. I’ve looked online and it seems like i should be safe. I just want your opinion on what you believe would be my likelihood of getting pregnant ?? I’m taking Velivet.

  31. Hi. I started using my pill november 15(tuesday) then we had sex with my husband november 20(saturday) is it safe? Or is there a chance of getting pregnant?. Please message me in my fb account(Lorie mae mangaliman). Thank you.

  32. I had sex on Saturday night and my bf released inside me and today is monday.can I get pregnant . should I take contraceptive. which one and how many shud I take.

  33. Hello,
    I started taking birth control for the first time.In a week before my period how long can I wait before having unprotective sex.

  34. Hi, I know it’s not exactly related to this topic but to preface I’ve been taking a three month pack of 21 active pills for a two or three years. I had to skip my period and just moved on to a next pack, and I used to just have two weeks without the pill when I was single, however I have an SO now. Is there a way to regulate it and get it back on track and still be protected? From what I’ve read it sounds like I could either take two weeks of the active pill, do a week for a period, take two weeks again and then another week. Or I could do two weeks of active have a period week and then another week of active and then another period week and by that time I could get my next three month pack of birth control and be on track. I’m not entirely confident that I would be protected though and was wondering if that would work or if it was better to go with the tried and true wait two weeks and use a back up method, or would one of those previously mentioned be safe enough?

    Sorry for the confusion and thank you very much.

  35. I was using an IUD for 10 years decided to take it off and start using birth control pills. How long should’ve I waited to have unprotected sex? Someone told me I have to wait one month for the pills to be effective. Is it true?!

  36. My question is, does birth control not protect you against pregnancy for 7 days after you start taking it for the FIRST time ever OR is it not effective for 7 days Each Month after you start taking the pills again?

  37. Hi please help. After 5years i took pills again i started it December 16 and ended at January 5 2017 21days so basically I finished the 1 pack and i had sex jan 6 and until now my menstruation didnt arrive yet. Iam I pregnant? Im taking althea pills.
    Thank you.

  38. I recently started day 1 28 birth control. I waited 9 days from my first pack to have unprotected sex. But i took my first pill at 11pm my first day of getting my period &took the rest of my pills for the following 8 days at 9am. (did i take my pills wrong?) Also my doctor told me that the pills dont effectively work for the first month. Should i take a plan b?

    • You probably should take a plan b. You’re supposed to take your pills at the same time everyday or in between 1-2 hours from when you usually take it if you miss your reminder. I say 1 hr after before tho. ?

  39. I am in the same situation but I actually had unprotected sex the 1st day of starting back my birth control. My cycle ended on Dec 25th and I had unprotected sex on Dec 29th, with no condom, it was my first day of startimg back my birth control, and he came in me. Could I be pregnant even if I’m still taking the pills every day?

    • I did the same thing, but apparently if you’ve been on birth control for awhile and you are taking them at the same time everyday, you didn’t ovulate, therefore no egg was released to be fertilized, so you should be good.

  40. Hi Tina!i started taking diane pills on the 2nd day(monday) of my period.. and im taking it same time everyday as what was instructed..i just took my 7th pill last night(sunday) its my first time to use combine pills.. and after 12midnight (exactly Monday) as i was sleeping my husband did something to me and he come inside me. Im really worried.. do i have a chance in getting pregnant?your answer would be a great help! Thanks!

  41. Hi. As my OB-GYNE prescribed. You should take diane 35 pills on the 8thday AFTER you menstrual period. My husband and I had sex on the 2nd day of taking the pills, that was my 9th day of menstrual cycle (usually 4days of cycle since I took diane 35) I did not get pregnant even he come inside. The best thing do is you should take diane35 without skipping the 21days of pills.
    Take diane35 pills on your 8thday of menstrual cycle. If this is your first time to take diane35 you can take it even you don’t have period or not. But on the second month of taking, you should take it on the 8th day of your period AFTER.

    Another thing is, diane35 can regulate your hormone and can help you to heal your hormonal imbalances for ACNE.

  42. Hi! I took bc pill on Jan 7, 2017 which is also the 1st day of my period at 11:30pm. but taking the next pill between 9:30pm to 10:30pm. had unprotected sex on Jan 14, 2017 on my 8th pill. I still had blood discharge the next 3-5 days. Will I get pregnant? Thanks!

  43. Supposed to be.. my period should start on january 26, but it didnt came. and till now im waiting for it. I took a pill before I and my bf do the thing .and i continously taking those.. but until now. my period still doesn’t come. am i pregnant?

  44. I started using Microgynon last month. I already took the 21 pills and am currently on the pill free days. I bled all 21 days of using the pill (it says it’s an effect of the pill). I haven’t had sex yet because I was still bleeding but it stopped when I finished the first blister. Is it safe to have sex without condom, even though I bled through the entire use of the pills? Or is it risky because of it?

  45. I had unprotected sex this morning but missed the pill last night after 3 weeks of use. Can i get pregnant? Should i take the plan b pill? Please help

  46. I have a partner.our last entercourse was last nov. Coz i went on a vacation for my last period was jan 5 2017. I take birth control pills 2days i take 2times a day and i had sex that day.after that im now taking my pills i was delay for afraid i might pregnant or its just the pills.pls confuse..

  47. My period only lasts 4 days, and i have been on the pill for a while like over a year… I took my pill on the 6th day instead of the 5th day and have had unprotected sex am i still covered?

  48. First time ever on birth control pill I’m on day 12 on pill and on day 11 my bf and I had unprotected Sex, but since day 1 that I took pill it was at 10pm the next day as well , but other days I’ve been taking it different times during the day like in the afternoon 2,3,4pm and 7pm . Am I risking it of getting pregnant cause of the time difference, I have not missed a day on taking the pill. Please answer?

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