It depends on when you start taking them and what type of pills you’re using. You can start taking the birth control pill any day of the month. But depending on when you start and the kind of pill you are using, you may need to use a backup contraception method, like condoms, for for a few days.
Combined Pills (COCs)
- If you start combined pills within 5 days after the first day of your period, you’ll be protected from pregnancy right away.
- If you start combined pills any other time, you need to take the pill for 7 days (or 9 days in the case of Qlaria) before you’ll be protected from pregnancy. Use another method of contraception, such as condoms, if you have sex during your first week (or nine days if Qlaria) on the pill.
Progestogen-Only Pills (POPs or Mini Pills)
- You can start progestogen-only pills any day of the month. You’ll be protected from pregnancy after 48 hours (2 days). Use another method of contraception such as condoms for the first 48 hours (2 days).