I’ve been willy nilly about taking my birth control pills for the last 6 years because I haven’t been sexually active and I never worry about taking it on time, same time, every night. So lets say I want to have sex on Valentines day (woohoo for sexy times). How far out from that date should i start trying to take the pill on time everyday for it to be 100% effective? I usually take them within a 5 hour time frame. Usually at bedtime..whenever that is. I’m taking Junel. I absolutely can’t get pregnant right now because of the other medication I take. I plan on using condoms and withdrawl to add 2 more layers of protection…but lets just say I want to skip the condoms…Is withdrawl and BCP pretty effective? I’ve seen this posted before but I don’t trust my memory. I tested negative for all STD’s two weeks ago so I plan on having the STD conversation with him before we ditch the condoms so no worries about that.

I’ve only ever had a guy cum inside me once when I was 19 years old (15 years ago) and by george I got pregnant and had an abortion…so NO..I’m not interested in that happening again.

Please allay my fears so I can enjoy sexytimes with my guy.

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6 Responses to How soon does birth control take effect?

  1. SseNope says:

    If you look at the prescribing information for most any hormonal birth control pill, it likely gives you two options for effectiveness:

    When your first pill is taken on the first day of your period: Effective immediately

    When your first pill is taken at any other time: Effective after 7 days.

    Obviously, you need to take the pills regularly, at the same time (about) every day in order to stay protected. Also, some docs will tell you that it takes longer than a week, but they are covering their butt in case you take a while to get into the pill-taking routine, or have awful side effects and need to stop taking the pills ASAP. In either case, you don’t want sperm hanging out, ready to fertilize any possible ovum.

    But you’re also using withdrawal, so no semen hanging out for you! Right now you have double the protection from semen due to the condoms.

  2. SidFire says:

    I haven’t checked the math formula or know where the base statistics are sourced from….and I also know that ‘statistics mean nothing to the individual’ and that a slight risk is still a risk…

    but this may help you decide if the statistic risk of doubling/tripling up is one that you’re much more comfortable taking.


    Also…I don’t see any citations on this blog post, but it might make you feel better about condom efficacy when used consistently (until you ditch them, in your case)

  3. Ezaora says:

    What knittinggoddess said about starting times/effectiveness.

    And a personal anecdote re: effectiveness. I take my pills at exactly the same time within half an hour at the most (I have them on me at all times and an alarm on my phone to remind me to take them. Once it goes off, I drop everything and take my pill.) There have only been a handful of oopsies, and even then, I’m super careful after that happens. We almost never use condoms anymore, and while he doesn’t cum inside me all the time, it’s frequent enough to say that I’ve never had a scare in the nearly two years I’ve been on BC (btw, I’m also on Junel).

    So tl;dr: if you’re good with taking the pill ON TIME (so no 5 hour leeway) you should be perfectly fine. If you use withdrawal, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be scare-free IMHO.


  4. 29dWoman says:

    Remember though-no method is going to give you 100% effectiveness 😉

  5. 642ova says:

    True story, though simultaneously using 2 methods that are reasonably effective themselves does pretty well! It’s all about each individual deciding what level of risk is acceptable, for sure, and the math tells us that using birth control pills and withdrawal is pretty impressively effective.

  6. Noszoa says:

    This is going to be a bit mathy, but: HBC is designed to be used as a method of birth control on its own (with a typical failure rate of 8% and perfect use failure rate of 0.3%) — adding withdrawl reduces that rate to 2.16% typical/0.02% perfect, and adding condoms reduces that rate again to 0.324% typical/0.00024% perfect (which means for typical use if 1000 people used all three methods, over the course of a year 3 would get pregnant; to get any real statistical failures for perfect use, 1 million people would have to use all methods and 2 of them would get pregnant).

    In short: HBC is pretty effective on its own, and adding more complimentary methods will continue to reduce your chances of getting pregnant.

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