Starting Alesse for the First Time
When you take Alesse
for the first time, you can start it either on the first day of your period or on the first Sunday after your period starts. Starting on a Sunday may decrease the chance that you will have your periods on the weekends, although this is not always the case.
If you start Alesse on the first day of your period (a "day 1 start"), you do not need any backup contraception. If you choose a Sunday start, you need to use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms, for the first week. If the first day of your period happens to be on a Sunday, treat this as a day 1 start (no backup needed).
Check with your healthcare provider for more specific instructions if you are starting Alesse after a birth, miscarriage, or abortion, or if you are switching from a different birth control pill
, patch, ring, or injection.
What If I Miss an Alesse Dose?
It is important that you take Alesse every day and at the same time every day, even if you do not have sex very often. Missing pills increases the risk of pregnancy. What you should do if you miss pills depends on how many you missed, if you are a day 1 starter or a Sunday starter, and when in the cycle the pills were missed. General instructions for missed pills include the following:
- If you miss one of the first 21 pills, take the missed pill as soon as you remember and take the next pill at your regular time, even if this means taking two pills at once. You do not need a backup method of contraception, as you will be adequately protected against pregnancy.
- If you miss two pills in a row during the first or second week of the pack, take two pills on the day you remember and two pills the next day. This should get you back on your regular schedule. You must use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms, if you have sex in the seven days after you restart the pills.
- If you miss two pills in a row during the third week of the pack (or three or more pills in a row during weeks one through three), your instructions will vary, depending on whether you are a day 1 starter or a Sunday starter. If you are a day 1 starter, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack right away. If you are a Sunday starter, take one pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the pack and start a new pack (this keeps you on track as a Sunday starter). Either way, you need to use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms, for a week. You may not have your period as usual this month, since you skipped the pills with no active ingredients.
- If you miss any of the last seven pills (the fourth week of the pack), throw away any of the pills you missed and continue as usual. Missing these pills will not increase your risk of pregnancy, as long as you start your next pack on time. No backup contraception is necessary.