I’ve Started Birth Control, Now What? – Q&A

You may be asking if starting a contraceptive means you can start having unprotected sex. The method you use and where you are in your menstrual cycle will influence how quickly your birth control starts protecting you against pregnancy.

Should I start having sex now that I am preventing?

If you have decided to begin preventing for any reason, this does not imply that you should begin having unprotected sex. Many young women start using contraception to avoid an unplanned pregnancy or for medical reasons such as menstrual regulation.

How long does it take for the contraceptive to start working?

To avoid an unplanned pregnancy, you should usually abstain from sex or use backup contraception (such as condoms) for roughly a week.

Oral contraceptives

To avoid unplanned pregnancy, use condoms for at least seven days after starting hormonal birth control pills. Contraceptive pills can also be started on the first day of the menstrual cycle.

Hormonal IUD, patch, and implant

If you started using the patch, implant, or hormonal IUD (Mirena) within the first five days of your period, there’s no need for back-up contraceptives however, the dual method is highly recommended.

Hormonal injection

You need to use a condom for at least seven days after receiving the hormonal injection (Depo-Provera) if you had the shot within the first week of your period.

When deciding whether or not to have unprotected sex when you start a contraceptive it is always good to stay informed and always use protection. Remember that using a condom with your contraceptive of choice protects you not only from unplanned pregnancy but STIs as well.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, an  Instagram message, a  Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).