The Pill needs to be taken at a regular time every day. It can be useful to link pill taking with other activities that are part of your daily routine. A monthly bleed occurs during the 'inactive’ pills and many women prefer to have this regular period. However, if you do not want to have a monthly bleed, you can safely take the hormone pills continuously – missing out the ‘sugar’ pills of each pack. The pill can be stopped for a ‘period’ at any time of your choosing. If you decide to take the pill continuously, without a break, and you start to bleed, then stop the pill for 3 days and then restart the pill. To renew your pill prescription you will need to see a doctor at least once a year.

The pill may not be effective if:

  • Your pill is late
  • Vomiting occurs within 2-3 hours of taking the pill
  • Severe diarrhea occurs
  • Other medications are taken
  • Some non-prescribed medications, for example St John’s wort (hypericum), can interfere with the action of the pill

For some medications, you cannot rely on the Pill for prevention of pregnancy while on the medication and then for the next 7-28 days of ‘active’ hormone pills. Check with your doctor for any of these issues.