Currently viewing: Home » Mobile Health Team » The Pill

The Pill

Birth control pills are small pills that young woman can take daily to prevent pregnancy. When used correctly, they are 99% effective.

There are many kinds of birth control pills. Your health care provider can work with you to find what works best for you. You're welcome to discuss your birth control options with someone at Project STAY. Call us at (646) 320-6121 or (646) 685-9639.

How do birth control pills work?
Birth control pills release hormones that temporarily stop a woman's ovaries from releasing an egg. If no egg is released, a woman cannot get pregnant. The hormones may also make the natural fluids around your cervix thicker, making it harder for sperm to swim through your body. (Don't worry: You won't notice this change.)

What are the advantages of birth control pills?
Many young women prefer birth control pills because they are easy to use, cause fewer cramps and lighter periods, and may help clear up acne.

What side effects can birth control pills cause?
Most young women who take the pill find that they have few, if any, problems. However, birth control pills are not for everyone. Some young women have stopped using birth control pills because of side effects such as nausea, headaches, bleeding between periods and breast tenderness. Many women's bodies adjust after a few months of being on the pill. The pill affects everyone differently. Because your friend had side effects does not mean that you will.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose of my birth control pills?
A pill must be taken every day in order to prevent pregnancy. If you miss a pill, you should take two pills the next day. If miss more than one pill, take two pills the first day and two the following day. If you miss a pill, it is also important to use condoms to prevent pregnancy because the pills don't work if not taken correctly.

Every pack of birth control pills contains instructions. Keep them! They also explain what to do if you miss a pill. If you have any questions, call us at (646) 320-6121 or (646) 685-9639.


Myth: I don't need to use condoms when I'm taking birth control pills.

Fact: Birth control pills do not protect against any sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. The pills only prevent pregnancy. Therefore, to protect yourself against STIs, you should still use a condom every time you have sex.

Myth: Birth control pills will make me fat.

Fact: Some girls may gain a few pounds, some may lose a few pounds, and most will stay about the same. Read this article to learn more about weight gain and the pill.

Myth: I cannot get pregnant while on "the pill."

Fact: Birth control pills are very good at preventing pregnancy, but they have to be used correctly. This means making sure you are not pregnant before you start using the pills and taking a pill every day.

Myth: If I take birth control now, I won't be able to get pregnant later.

Fact: There is no connection between taking birth control pills and being able to get pregnant later. In fact, a young woman can get pregnant immediately after stopping the pill. That is why it's important to take a pill every day.

Myth: I should take occasional breaks from birth control pills to give my body a rest.

Fact: Your body does not need a break from birth control. In fact, your body becomes used to the pills. Many young women end up pregnant while taking a break from the pill. Stick to taking a pill every day.

Myth: I can start having sex without condoms the day I start using birth control pills.

Fact: It takes about a week for the hormones from birth control pills to start working in your body. We recommend that you use condoms during that time. However, since the pills do not protect against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, it is a good idea to consider using condoms all the time.

Back to to