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. 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 I’m just worried that if I’m done with one week. Can I have unprotected Sex and can he come in me

  8. 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 ?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. So I just started birth control and I started the day after my period ended. I had taken 7 pills and took the 8th just before my boyfriend and I had sex. He was wearing a condom but it broke and he came inside of me. Since I’m so new to birth control should I be worried?

  13. For some reasons today i didn’t drink my pills in time, i took my pills 2 hours early, can that mean i can get pregnant if i have unprotected sex?

  14. If i m protected or not.
    I started daine 35 pill after one day period finished. Then after 20 days i do sex. But i was taking tab. Now 3 tab left and my period time is next weak. Plz guide me if i need to stop after these tab. Bcs i want stop this tab.

  15. hi i am new here and was wondering I started my birth control February 15th and had unprotected sex March 10th I’ve also missed two of my pills between them could it be possible that I could get pregnant?!?!

  16. I took my 21th and last pill last friday night and had unprotected sex in the middle of the night that was supposedly not safe what back ups should I make to avoid pregnancy?

  17. hi i just started taking the minigynon pills but on the seventh day after i took the pill my boyfriend cum inside me should i consider myself pregnant???

  18. helo goodam, i just want to ask f missing 8 pills is safe? i had sex with my husband on march 6, i take the 1st pill but the next following days i stop taking the pills until 8days. and in the 9days i started taking again until now march 20. is it possible not to get pregnant in my case? pls help me 🙂 thank you

  19. I have taken the combination pill for 3 years. I take 21 pills then have a 7 day break. However, this month I have started taking my pills after 9 days of not having a pill , because there was a delay in my order. Will I be protected after I started to take my pills again?

  20. Hi I’ve been in the pill for some time and I’ve taken it constantly for about a week. My boyfriend and I had unprotected sex is there a high possibility of me falling pregnant? Is it a good idea to get the Plan B pill??

  21. I was off the pill for two months because it effected my eating then got on it again. I took the pill April 1 that night and then had unprinted sex Monday but he didn’t cum in me. Could I be pregnant?

  22. Hello.. I just wanna ask. I’ve been on combined pills (diane) for 4 mos only. On February 3 i had sex with my bf still on pills my last pill taken was on February 7 i finished the packed. Then I’m on my 7 day pill break already i had my period on Feb13 & Feb 15 was supposed to resume taking the pills but i already stopped. The nextmonth i had a period earlier than usual and this month of April I’m already delayed. I tested for pregnancy but came negative. What is this? What does this indicates? Pls answer.. Thank you

  23. Hello.. I just wanna ask. I’ve been on combined pills (diane) for 4 mos only. On February 3 i had sex with my bf still on pills my last pill taken was on February 7 i finished the packed. Then I’m on my 7 day pill break already i had my period on Feb13 & Feb 15 was supposed to resume taking the pills but i already stopped never had sexual contact since February 4. The nextmonth i had a period earlier than usual and this month of April I’m already delayed. I tested for pregnancy but came negative. What is this? What does this indicates? Pls answer.. Thank you

  24. I’ve had sex 5 times this week and he finished in me each time. I’ve missed 4 days of birth control pills called Tri-Spintec so when I remembered I took 4 at one time and 1 later that night . I’ve been throwing up a lot and feeling sick what’s going on ? Am I pregnant?

  25. i’m on my 3rd day of period when me and my boyfriend had sex using pull out method,the next morning i decided to use pills,is there any possibility of pregnancy?

  26. So I’ve been on birth control since I was 16-17 years old. I’m 26 now and stopped my period on Wednesday night, the next day (Thursday) I took my first pill, then had unprotected sex that night around 5am(when we finished aka when he came inside me) making it early Friday morning. Took my second pill about 15-20mins ago(its now 9am).. should I consider buying plan b? Even if I’ve been on it for about 10-9 years? I’ve been on it consistently/over consistently (skipping periods more than having them), maybe making it stay in my system longer than average.. Plan b or No plan b?

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