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Starting Birth Control

Sunday Start
Take your first birth control pill on the first Sunday after your period starts, even if you are still bleeding. If you choose this method, you will need to use a backup method of birth control, such as a condom, for the first seven days of your first package.
With the Sunday start, you will always end a package of pills on a Saturday, and start a new package on a Sunday. This means you will likely start your period on a Monday or Tuesday each month.
Day 1 Start
Take your first birth control pill on the first day of your period, within 24 hours of the start of bleeding. You will be protected from pregnancy from the start, and will not need a backup birth control method. If your period happens to start on a Sunday, you can consider it a day 1 start, and you do not need to use a backup birth control method.
With the day 1 start, you will always start your packet of pills on the same day of the week. So, if you started your first cycle of birth control pills on a Monday, you will always start a new pack on a Monday.
Immediate Start
Take your first birth control pill the day you receive your prescription, or any day you wish to start. You will need to use a backup birth control method, such as a condom, for the first seven days of your first package. The advantage of this method is that you do not have to wait until you get your period. You can also choose a day of the week that works the best for you. You will always start a new pack on that day of the week.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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