What Are Birth Control Placebo Pills
Great question! There are many different types of birth control pills and pill packages. The most common pill package contains 21 active pills and 7 placebo pills . Placebo pills also called sugar pills or reminder pills are simply place holders. These pills exist at the end of the pill pack and are usually a different color than the rest of your pills. The purpose of the placebos is to help keep you on track with taking your pills every day at the same exact time, even during your period. As long as you have taken your active pills as prescribed, same time every single day, then during placebo week you will still have protection against pregnancy. Placebo week also allows you to have a period, which for most girls, is lighter and more regular due to the help of the pill.
However, its very important to have a clear understanding of your birth control pill. As we mentioned, there are many different versions of the pill. There are some pill packs that contain 28 pills total, 24 of those pills are active, while only 4 are placebos. Although the last 4 pills are placebos, some manufactures add in vitamins such as folic acid, which can help the body make healthy red blood cells.
If you are thinking of skipping your placebo pills or making any changes to your birth control pill, speak to your health care provider first before making any changes.
Advantages Of The Pill
- If you use the pill correctly, your chances of getting pregnant are very low.
- You dont have to do anything before or after you have sex.
- Your period will likely become shorter, lighter, less painful, and more regular.
- The pill can improve acne and increase bone strength.
- It doesnt affect your ability to get pregnant in the future.
- Your partner dont have to be involved.
- The pill lowers your chances of ovarian and endometrial cancer and fibroids.
Did I Get Pregnant On The Pill
In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention s view, the pill has a 99 percent effectiveness rate. The effectiveness of this product is 7 percent. In other words, less than one out of 100 women who take the pill will become pregnant in a year. The pill has a 91 percent effectiveness when used on a typical basis.
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Can I Get Pregnant While On The Sugar Pills Of My Birth Control
A birth control pack has 4 weeks, on the 4th week you start your period, these pills are called “sugar pills” and “reminder pills”. I don’t start my period until the 3rd day of this week, so therefor I could have sx the first 2 days of that week if I wanted to. I don’t use condoms and haven’t gotten pregnant yet, if I have sx during this week without a condom will I get pregnant? What are the differences in the 3 weeks of pills and the 4th week of pills, sure you start your period, but can you get pregnant also?
- Answer #1
Well the pink pills have hormones and so on that work at preventing ovulation and hence pregnancy. The green one’s are idle. I think it is very unlikely that you will get pregnant during that last week if you do not use a backup method. . If you read the little paper that comes with every box of birthcontrol it clearly states that during the last week of the pills you do not need to use a backup method. Unfortunately I do not know how this would work scientifically but I think you should be ok. It is advised that you use back up such as a condom or foam if you miss one of the pink pills but it should be ok during the last week.
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I dont know if the is the question u wanted me to answer. But to tell u the truth I have no clue if u can get pregnant or not. I was on the patch and I got pregnant. I am sorry I don’t have much advice on the pill.
Do I Have To Take Placebo Pills
You dont have to take the placebo pills in your birth control pack, but you must begin your active pills again within a week. You can start your active pills early to adjust the date of your period or start your placebo pills on a different week if you want to change the timing of your period. Speak to your local health care provider about the best way to do this, as your level of protection will vary with the type of pill youre using. You may need to use a method of backup birth control as youre adjusting your cycle.
Understanding how placebo pills work will help you use birth control properly and protect yourself effectively from pregnancy. Though you are safe from pregnancy during the placebo pill, we recommend the use of condoms for STI prevention and additional contraceptive benefits.
For more answers to your healthcare questions, visit our Knowledge Center.
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How Do Birth Control Pills Prevent Pregnancy
The birth control pill works by stopping sperm from joining with an egg. When sperm joins with an egg its called fertilization.
The hormones in the pill safelystop ovulation. No ovulation means theres no egg for sperm to fertilize, so pregnancy cant happen.
The pills hormones also thicken the mucus on the cervix. This thicker cervical mucus blocks sperm so it cant swim to an egg kind of like a sticky security guard.
If Youve Missed One Pill:
Take the missed dosage as soon as you remember it. Go ahead and take the next tablet at your usual time. After that, its important to continue your regular schedule.
Because it sometimes takes a while for hormonal pills to be fully effective, we suggest using an additional birth control method until youve been on your regular pill schedule for seven days.
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Does The Pill Protect Against Stds
Nope. The pill is really good at preventing pregnancy, but it wont protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
Luckily, using condoms every time you have sex really lowers your chances of getting or spreading STDs. Condoms also protect against pregnancy so using condoms + birth control pills together gives protection from STDs AND awesome pregnancy-preventing power.
How To Start Your First Pack Of Pills
There are several ways you can start taking your first pack of pills. Talk with your doctor about when to start taking your pills:
- Quick start. During your medical appointment, take your first pill as soon as you get the pack from your doctor. Take the second pill the next day. During the first 7 days of pills, use a backup method of birth control, like a condom or diaphragm.
- Sunday start. Pick a Sunday to take your first pill, so that you do not have periods on the weekends. During the first 7 days of pills, use a backup method of birth control, like a condom or diaphragm.
- Fifth-day start. On the fifth day of your menstrual period, take your first pill.
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How The Birth Control Pill Works
Most birth control pills are a dose of hormones that a female takes once a day to prevent pregnancy. The birth control pill is about 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when used perfectly. It is one of the most popular and effective methods of birth control.
The combined birth control pill works primarily by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg each month . It also thickens the cervical mucus, which acts as a barrier and helps to immobilize sperm. And lastly, it thins out the lining of the uterus , which makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant itself into the wall of the uterus.
The progestin only pill primarily prevents pregnancy by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the lining of the uterus. It only prevents ovulation in about 40% of cycles.
Neither type of birth control pill offers any protection against sexually transmitted infections.
What Happens If You Dont Get Your Period On The Sugar Pills
In the case of birth control and not getting your period during your placebo week, there is no need to worry, especially if you have been taking your pill every day for the past few weeks. The lighter and shorter your period is, especially if youve been taking birth control for a while, its normal.
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Birth Control Pills Prevent Pregnancy Through Two Different Mechanisms
All birth control pills use hormones to prevent pregnancy. Some contain a hormone called progestin. Others contain two hormones, progestin and estrogen. All of them work by doing two things: They prevent women from ovulating, and they cause the cervical mucus to thicken, which makes it more difficult for a sperm to penetrate and make contact with an egg if the woman is ovulating.
In a way, birth control mimics the body’s response to pregnancy. “There is some truth to the idea that birth control pills trick your body into thinking you’re pregnant,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of external medical affairs. “When you’re pregnant, you don’t ovulate, and the cervical mucus is thickening to prevent anything from easily getting into your uterus.”
How Do I Make The Pill Work Best For Me
Forgetting pills, losing the pack, not refilling your prescription on time these are the main reasons why people might get pregnant when they use the pill. Its good to plan ahead and think about the best way for you to use the pill correctly. Here are some ways to help you remember to take your pills every day:
Use our birth control reminder app or set an alarm on your phone.
Keep your pill pack next to something you use every day .
Keep your pills in your bag so theyre always with you.
Be pill buddies with friends or family members who also take medicine every day, and help each other remember.
Your partner can help remind you.
Do whatever works to help you take your pill on time, all the time. Depending on where you live, you may be able to order and refill your pills online through the Planned Parenthood Direct app.
Want to be super duper sure you dont accidentally get pregnant? You can also use a condom every time you have penis-in-vagina sex. That way youll be protected from STDs too.
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How Birth Control Pills Work
In a standard 28-day package of birth control bills, the first 21 pills are active and the last seven pills are placebo pills. Birth control pills also come in 91-day packages with 84 active pills and seven inactive pills. A third option is a 21-day package of birth control pills, which does not contain placebo pills. If you have this type of birth control, you will stop taking your pills for a week rather than take inactive pills for seven days.
Active birth control pills typically contain a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones. These prevent pregnancy by:
- Stopping ovulation so there should be no egg to fertilize
- Thickening the cervical mucus so its difficult for sperm to reach the egg if ovulation does occur
- Changing the lining of the uterus so a fertilized egg will have trouble implanting
These mechanisms are effective and long-lasting enough to keep you protected even through the inactive pill week as long as youve taken your pills correctly for the rest of the pack.
If you have progestin-only pills, there are no placebo pills in your pack. These work differently and provide a crucial dose of hormones every day. You must take one of these pills within the same three-hour time frame every day for effectiveness.
Can The Sugar Content Of These Pills Cause Weight Gain
The exact quantity of sugar in the placebo pills is not usually revealed by manufacturers. However, doctors say the possibility of this causing weight gain is unlikely or a complete myth.
The amount of sugar is tiny. There is not enough to cause any weight gain and skipping them will not prevent weight gain, says Dr Foran.
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How To Get Birth Control Pills
Make an appointment at any of our clinics to see a doctor about getting a prescription for birth control pills.
Once our doctor has determined you can safely take the pill and written you a prescription, you can buy your pills right here at our clinic! We can also write you an outside prescription if you prefer to purchase them at a pharmacy. We will teach you everything you need to know about the pill and answer any questions you have.
How Does This Medication Work What Will It Do For Me
Norethindrone acetate – ethinyl estradiol belongs to the class of medications called oral contraceptives . It is an estrogen and progestin combination used to prevent pregnancy.
Norethindrone acetate – ethinyl estradiol works by preventing ovulation and by causing changes in the mucus of the cervix which make it difficult for sperm to penetrate the egg and for an egg to implant in the wall of the uterus.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
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How Do You Use The Pill
- The pill works on a 28-day cycle. Your clinician will either prescribe you a pack of 28 pills or a pack of 21 pills.
- If you have a 28-day pack, you will take one pill with hormones every day at the same time for 21 days . Then for the last 7 days , you will take pills called sugar or placebo pills. These dont have any hormones in them, but they help keep you in the habit of taking your pill at the same time every day. You can expect your period sometime during this hormone-free week. The day after you take your last sugar pill, you start a new pack of pills.
- If you have a 21-day pack, you will take one pill with hormones every day at the same time for 21 days . Then for the next 7 days you will not take any pills. You can expect your period sometime during this hormone-free week. After week 4, you start a new pack of pills.
- Remember, you are protected from pregnancy during the hormone-free week even if you are not taking any sugar pills, as long as you have been taking your pills correctly and you start your next pack of pills on time.
- Some people take the pill continuously to avoid having their period, sometimes called stacking. If you are interested in doing this, speak to your clinician first.
- If you are late taking a pill or miss a pill, consult the instructions in your pill package and/or call your clinician to see if you need to come in for an appointment and/or use a back-up method of birth control for 7 days.
Does It Matter Where I Am In My Pack When I Miss A Pill
The last week of your hormonal pills are days 15-21 of a 28-day pill pack.
If youve missed a birth control pill during this week, you need to finish your pack a little differently.
Keep taking the rest of the hormone-containing pills. Skip the placebo pills, and start the next pack. This means that you will skip your period, but you may have some break-through bleeding.
Regardless of bleeding, just keep taking the active pills until the end of the second pack.
You should also use a second form of contraception like abstinence or condoms for at least 7 days.
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Additional Benefits Of Combination Pills
The primary purpose of birth control pills is, of course, to prevent pregnancy. Yet there are some brands and combinations of hormones which may pack an extra punch, and help with other concerns as well. In other words, there are some noncontraceptive benefits of the pill which vary between brands.
Some of the conditions for which the pill may help include acne, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, endometriosis, and painful periods. In addition, the pill may help lower your risk of uterine, ovarian, colon and blood-related cancers, though there may be an increased risk of lung cancer in people who smoke and breast and cervical cancers in current users of the pill .ï»¿ï»¿
Your Daily Pill Routine
Take your hormone pills every day, at about the same time of day. To stay on track and prevent pregnancy, try these easy tricks:footnote 1
- Pick a time. Link up your “pill time” with something you do every day, like brushing your teeth, eating a meal, or going to bed.
- Use your calendar. Mark the days you will start new packs. You might even want to cross off each day you take your pill.
- Check again. Each morning, check your pack to be sure you took yesterday’s pill. If you find you’ve missed one, take it right away.
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