Gynecology Birth Control Pill - Facts Instructions Start your first pack of pills on the first Sunday after your period begins. If your period begins on Sunday start your pills that day. Use a BACKUP METHOD (foam, condoms, sponge) along with the pills for the first month. Take a pill every day until you finish a pack then start a new pack. Do not skip any days between packs. If you forget to take a birth control pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you don't remember until the next day, go ahead and take 2 pills that day. If you forget to take your pills for 2 days, take 2 pills the day you remember and 2 pills the next day. You will then be back on schedule.  USE A BACK-UP METHOD until you start the next pack of pills. If you miss more than 2 birth control pills, call your us for instructions. Those instructions may be to take one pill daily until Sunday and then start a new pack or to discard the rest of the pill pack and start over with a new pack that same day. If you get sick and have diarrhea or vomiting, within two hours of taking the pill, use a back-up method until you start your next pack of pills. Keep taking your pills normally. Anytime you see a doctor/nurse, be sure to mention you are on birth control pills especially if you may be admitted to a hospital. Certain medications, such as antibiotics, may cause your pills to be less effective. Call the office to find out if you need to use a back-up method of birth control. **For more information please read your pill packet insert** Effectiveness The pill is one of most effective non permanent methods of birth control. Pills are nearly 100% (99.6%) effective in preventing pregnancy if they are taken correctly. However, they do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone, the two natural female hormones. These hormones help to prevent pregnancy by: 1) stopping ovulation each month, 2) changing the lining of the uterus and 3) changing the cervical mucous. Benefits Periods will be regular, lighter and shorter with less cramping. Improvement of acne problems is common, but does not always occur. The pill helps prevent cancer of the ovaries and uterus. Smaller chance of cysts in the ovaries and benign breast disease. Side Effects Some women may notice minor changes when first starting the pill. These changes are usually greatly improved or go away completely after the first 2 to 3 months. Possible changes may include: Breast tenderness or fullness. Nausea-taking pills with food should help. Call the office if vomiting is a problem. Spotting (breakthrough bleeding) – this does not mean there is something wrong with you or that the pill is too strong or weak for you. Very short and light periods. Some women will have only a drop of blood or brown smear on a pad, tampon or underwear. It is normal for some women to miss a period completely or have no bleeding (see pill instructions for missed period). Weight gain/fluid retention - usually not greater than 5 pounds. A healthy diet, less intake of salty foods and regular exercise will help. Acne - a few women may have an acne flare-up. Mood changes - usually mild and temporary. Call the clinic if these changes are severe or do not go away after the first two to three months. Myths The pill does not make you less fertile. If you were fertile before using the pill, taking it should not affect your ability to have children later. Most pills used today are low dose pills. It is not necessary to "go off" the pill every so often to give your body a rest. But you may be advised to stop the pills if you are having certain problems due to the pills. The pill does not cause breast cancer, but can cause breast cancer to grow more rapidly if you develop it. Do monthly breast self exams and report any unusual changes or lumps to the office. Danger Signs ABDOMINAL PAIN (severe). CHEST PAIN (severe), shortness of breath, coughing up blood. HEADACHE (severe), numbness of lips, tongue, arm or leg. EYE PROBLEMS - vision loss, blurring, flashing lights SEVERE LEG PAIN - redness, swelling of calf or thigh. CALL THE Ob/Gyn office at (908) 369-0970 IF YOU DEVELOP ANY OF THE DANGER SIGNALS LISTED ABOVE. REMINDER When using an antibiotic, use a back-up method, like condoms and spermicide, for the rest of the pill packet. Warning signs: o severe chest pain with shortness of breath o worst headache of your life o visual changes o numbness, tingling, weakness of arms or legs o severe abdominal pain o severe leg pain with swelling -----Call the office right away. Call the office if you miss more than two pills in a row. Birth control pills do not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. Use condoms and spermicide every time you have sex to protect yourself from getting a sexually transmitted disease including AIDS. Location 378 South Branch Road Suite 403 Hillsborough, NJ 08844 (908) 369-0970 Gyn - Home Birth Control Pill - Facts Abnormal PAP smears - FAQs Laparoscopic Surgery