The continuous birth control pill is an oral contraceptive. It works the same way as the regular pill but you take it without stopping for 3 months, which means you only get your period every 3 months.
What is it?
The continuous pill contains two synthetic female hormones: estrogen and progesterone. It’s sold in packages of 91 pills: 84 active ones (with hormones) and 7 inactive ones (without hormones). By taking the pill continuously, you only get your period every 3 months. You can also use this method with the regular pill, by taking only the pills containing hormones continuously and then stopping after 4 packages. The continuous pill must be prescribed by your doctor.
How do I use it?
You take a pill every day, in the order indicated on the box and at the same time of day, within about 3 hours. The continuous pill’s reliability depends on your taking it regularly.
Consult your doctor to find out the best time to start taking the pills. Usually, you’ll start on day 1 of your menstrual cycle – the first day of your period – or the Sunday following that day.
- If you take the pill regularly, you can have sex at any time without a risk of pregnancy.
- It’s 99.5% to 99.8% effective if you use it properly and always take it at the same time.
- It can reduce your menstrual cramps and the symptoms associated with menstruation.
- It reduces the frequency of your periods: you only get them every 3 months.
- It doesn’t protect you against BBSTIs.
- You might forget to take it, which increases the risk of pregnancy.
- It costs about $75 to $80, but the cost may be covered by insurance.
- The continuous pill can cause some side-effects: high blood pressure, depression, migraine, nausea, and sore breasts. However, with the development of low-dose pills, these side-effects have been reduced. If symptoms appear, consult your doctor, a nurse, or a pharmacist.
- You shouldn’t take the continuous pill if you have a cardiovascular or circulatory disorder, asthma, epilepsy, or certain liver diseases.
- Avoid cigarettes! They don’t mix well with the continuous pill: the combination can damage your health.
- You need to use another contraceptive method, such as condoms, while taking the first box.
Talk to your doctor before starting to take continuous birth control pills because they’re not for everyone. If this method isn’t right for you, your body might react badly.