It depends on the type of pill. Most pills work across a 28 day cycle including
the pill-free or placebo interval, which means you have one pack for each cycle.
With some you have to take a hormonal pill every day. With others you take a
hormonal pill every day for 21 or 24 or even 26 days of the cycle, and then have
a hormone free break of seven or four or only two days where either no pills are
taken or a hormone free pill is taken.
During this break, you will still be protected and you will have a
How often do condoms fail?
Compared to modern hormonal methods, condoms are less reliable and effective in
protecting against pregnancy but they are the only method that will protect
against STIs, including HIV/AIDS.
How long after having unprotected sex can the emergency pill be taken?
The emergency pill must be taken within 72 hours (three days) after unprotected
sex. The sooner it is taken, the more effective it is. It is most effective if
it is taken within the first 12 hours after unprotected sex.
Will the pill make me put on weight?
Although some women on the pill reported to having put on weight, it is very
questionable that this could be traced back to the pill.
However, with some pills you might put on weight when you start taking them, due to water
retention, which makes you feel bigger. But there are today modern contraceptive
pills which can avoid such water retention to some extent.
You may also find your appetite increases in the first three months of pill taking - and of course if you eat more you may gain weight!
How effective is the withdrawal method?
Withdrawal is less effective than most other contraceptive methods. As commonly used, it is only 78 percent effective, meaning that 22 of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal will become pregnant over a year.