When you take Demulen
for the first time, you can start it two different ways:
- Day 1 start -- Start Demulen on the first day of your period (within 24 hours of the start of menstrual bleeding). You will be protected from pregnancy from the start, and no backup birth control is needed. If your period happens to start on a Sunday, treat this as a day 1 start, not a Sunday start.
- Sunday start -- Start Demulen on the first Sunday after your period starts (even if you are still having your period). Starting on Sunday may decrease the chance that you will have your periods on the weekends, although not all women find this to be the case. You will need to use a backup method of birth control for the first seven days of the first pack.
If you choose a Sunday start, you will start every pack of Demulen on Sundays. If you choose a day 1 start, you will start each pack on your initial start day (for instance, if you first started Demulen on a Tuesday, you will start every pack on a Tuesday).
Some healthcare providers may suggest other ways to start Demulen, such as starting in the middle of the cycle. Make sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions in such situations.
What If I Miss a Dose?
It is important that you take Demulen 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 pills you have missed, whether you are a day 1 starter or a Sunday starter, and when in the cycle the pills were missed. If you are not sure what to do about missed pills, use a backup method of contraception until you can speak with your healthcare provider.
Some general instructions include:
- If you miss one of the first 21 pills (the active tablets), 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 to use 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 one 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 one (this keeps you on track as a Sunday starter).
Either way, you need to use a backup method of contraception for a week. You may not have your period as usual this month, as you have skipped the pills that do not contain any active ingredients.
- If you miss any of the last seven pills (the fourth week of the pack), throw away 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.