How Long Does It Take For Birth Control To Work

Sexual Health

How Long Does It Take For Birth Control To Work

2021
.
11
.
10

In this article, we'll be explaining the importance of birth control, how birth control pills and other contraceptives work and how long these birth control methods will take to start working. 



STARTING FROM
$
/MONTH
What Is Birth Control 


Also known as contraception, birth control refers to any method that can be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies from happening. Birth control methods can include condoms, birth control pills, practicing the rhythm method, IUDs and tubal ligation. 


It is important you use birth control if you are sexually active with your partner. In a study done by the National University Hospital (NUH) in Singapore, researchers found that 84% of couples who did not use any birth control methods got pregnant within a year and 92% of those same couples got pregnant within 2 years. 


Besides pregnancy prevention, women can also use birth control for other purposes. Hormonal birth control can be taken to manage period cramps and symptoms of PMS, regulate periods and keep hormonal acne breakout under control. Hormonal birth control can also help reduce the risk of developing ovarian and uterine cancer.


How Long Does It Take Different Birth Control Methods (Pills, IUD, Patch, Ring) To Work?


Birth Control Pills 


Birth control pills are available in different forms, either as a combination pill (Yasmin, Yaz) or as a progestin-only pill (Cerelle, Cerazette). 


Combination Pills


Combination birth control pills like Yasmin and Diane-35 contain the hormones estrogen and progestin to prevent ovulation and therefore unwanted pregnancies. Combination pills also prevent unwanted pregnancies by thickening the mucus in the cervix, making it difficult for the sperm to fertilize the egg. 


Combination birth control pills will be effective immediately if the first dose is taken within 5 days from the start of your period.


It will take 7 days for the combination pill to be effective if you start a new pack at any other time after your period. If you have sex during these 7 days, it is recommended that you use another non-hormonal form of contraception (like condoms) if you do have sex. 


Progestin-Only Pills 

As you might guess from the name, progestin-only birth control pills l contain only the progestin hormone. Like combination birth control pills, they work by preventing ovulation as well as thickening the mucus in the cervix to prevent fertilization of the egg. Progestin-only pills also help prevent unwanted pregnancies by thinning the uterine lining to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. 


Progestin-only birth control pills will work immediately if the first dose is taken within 5 days from the start of your period. 


If you start at any other time after your period, it will take 2 days for the progestin-only birth control pill to be effective. If you have sex during these 2 days, it is recommended that you use another non-hormonal form of contraception (like condoms).

 

Birth Control Patches 


Birth control patches are an adhesive patch that can be applied to your upper arm, back or butt. The patch slowly releases both estrogen and progestin hormones into the body which prevents ovulation from occuring. 


Like birth control pills, birth control patches also help prevent unwanted pregnancies by thickening the mucus in the cervix and preventing the fertilization of the egg. 

Birth control patches will work immediately if you apply the patch within 5 days from the start of your period. 


It will take 7 days for the birth control patch to be effective if you apply any other time after your period. If you have sex during these 7 days, it is reccomended that you use another non-hormonal form of contraception (like condoms). 


Birth Control Rings


Birth control rings work by releasing estrogen and progestin when inserted into your vagina which prevents ovulation. 


Similar to birth control pills, birth control rings also prevent unwanted pregnancies by thickening the mucus in the cervix and preventing the fertilization of the egg. 


Birth control rings will work immediately if inserted on the first day of your period. 


It will take 7 days for the birth control ring to be effective if it is inserted after the first day of your period. If you have sex during timeframe, it is reccomended that you use another non-hormonal form of contraception (like condoms) for additional protection. 


IUDs

A Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a tiny T-shaped device which is inserted into the uterus. There are currently 2 different kinds of IUDs available - a hormonal IUD or a copper IUD. 


Hormonal IUD


Similar to birth control pills and patches, a hormonal IUD works by preventing ovulation and thickening the mucus found in the cervix to prevent the fertilization of the egg.


As IUDs require a healthcare professional for its insertion, they will recommend waiting until the week you have your period to insert it. This is because the hormonal IUD will work immediately when inserted within 7 days from the start of your period. 


It will take 7 days for the hormonal IUD to be effective if it is inserted after the first week of your period. If you have sex during this timeframe, it is reccommended that you use another non-hormonal form of contraception (like condoms) for additional protection. 


Copper IUD 


Copper IUDs stop unwanted pregnancies from happening by releasing copper in the fallopian tubes and in the uterus. This acts as a form of spermicide and kills sperms before they get a chance to fertilize the egg. 


Unlike hormonal IUDs, copper IUDs work immediately after getting inserted. While that means you won't need to use an additional form of birth control to avoid pregnancies, you should still use protection to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. 


Contraceptive Implant 


A contraceptive implant is a small, soft plastic rod that requires a doctor to insert it in the upper arm. Once inserted, it slowly releases the hormone etonogestrel into the body to prevent pregnancy. 


Etonogestrel works to prevent unwanted pregnancies by stopping ovulation, thickening the mucus in the cervix to prevent fertilization as well as thinning the uterine lining to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg. 


Contraceptive implants will work immediately if it is inserted within the first 5 days of your period. 


It will take 7 days for the contraceptive implant to be effective if it is inserted after the first 5 days of your period. If you have sex during timeframe, it is reccommended that you another non-hormonal form of contraception (like condoms) for additional protection. 


Which Birth Control Method Is Best For Me?


Short-term birth control methods like birth control pills, patches anre rings all have similar effective rates when it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancies. When used perfectly, these methods have an impressive 99% effectiveness rate. When used typically, these hormonal birth control methods still have a commendable effectiveness rate of 91%. 


As all the birth control methods mentioned use similar hormones to prevent pregnancies, the side effects you experience with either one of them will be roughly the same. As the main design of all birth control methods is to prevent pregnancies, they will not be able to stop you or your partner from getting STIs so it is highly recommended that you both continue to practice safe sex (using condoms, getting regularly tested for STIs).