Birth control pills are an effective and easy way to prevent pregnancy. Taken once a day, they contain synthetic hormones resembling those already found in a woman’s body: estrogen and progestin, to take effect. There are many different kinds and dosing of birth control pills, so if you want to know when your period will start on the pill, it depends on which one you’re taking.

When Does Your Period Start on the Pill?

If you start a combination birth control pack (21- or 28-day pill pack) on the Sunday after you start your period, your next cycle should start approximately 25 days later. You can ask your doctor to know which day is the best to start your pill pack and they will recommend considering your specific condition.

Some combination birth control pills are known as “extended cycle” packs, meaning you should only get about four periods a year. There are also pills that will cause you not to get your period at all. When you start taking these pills, you can get spotting and breakthrough bleeding for about three to six months. Usually these symptoms will eventually go away as your body gets used to the pills.

Can You Skip Your Period with Birth Control Pills?

Yes, sure. There are ways to skip your period while taking birth control pills.

If you’re taking a combination pill pack, you can only take the “active” pills and skip the placebo pills that cause you to start your period. However, ask your doctor or pharmacist if this is safe for you and to show you which pills are the placebo pills.

Once you stop taking the active pills, you will likely start bleeding within a few days. Doctors recommend that you do this every three or four months. Make sure your doctor knows that you’re planning on skipping your period. They may prescribe you a different type of birth control that fits your body according to what kind of cycle you want to have. Also call your insurance company to see if they will cover your pills, since you’ll be going through packs quicker by not taking the placebo pills.

If you’re taking extended cycle or continuous cycle pills, they are already designed to have you get fewer or no periods at all. When does your period start on the pill? The answer will be based on what kind of option you choose.

  • ŸJolessa, Quasense and Seasonale all have 12 weeks of “active” pills with then a week of placebo pills, meaning you’ll get a period every three months.

  • ŸCamrese, Quartette and Seasonique also have 12 weeks of “active” pills with hormones and then a week of pills with an extremely low dose of estrogen, giving you a period every three months, too.

  • ŸIf you want to eliminate your period for the whole year, take Amethyst, which has you taking an “active” pill of hormones every day.

More Commonly Asked Questions About Taking the Pill

How long can I take birth control pills?

There is no time limit or restriction on how long you can take birth control pills. Even if you’re not taking them to prevent pregnancy but rather to treat acne or endometriosis, it’s still okay to take them long-term. Taking the pill will also keep your cycle regular, try it and you don't need to ask "when does your period start on the pill."

Should I or do I need to use other forms of birth control while on the pill?

Though the pill is very effective at preventing pregnancy, it will not prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted disease. Using condoms while having sex will not only provide a barrier against STDs, it also serves as a backup method of protection against pregnancy, in case you forget to take a pill or if you’re taking another medication that reduces the effectiveness of birth control, such as an antibiotic.

Do I ever need to take a break from the birth control pill?

No, there is no medical need to stop or pause your birth control pack. However, if you get a new medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it will interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pill.

What happens if I forget to take a pill once or more and I have sex?

In this condition, the best way to ensure you won’t get pregnant is to get emergency contraception. In the United States, anyone can buy Plan B without a prescription, and women 17 and older can also get Next Choice over the counter. A new type of emergency contraception is Ella, though a prescription is necessary to get it.

Am I pregnant if I don’t get my period while taking birth control pills?

If you’re taking your pills properly, you’re likely not pregnant. If you are worried about being pregnant, take a pregnancy test or see your doctor to be on the safe side.

Will it be harder to get pregnant after taking birth control pills?

Besides "When does your period start on the pill", this is another common asked question concerning taking the pill. The answer is no. Birth control pills do not affect your fertility. But if your periods and cycles were irregular before you started taking the pill, they will probably revert back to the same irregularity. If you’re concerned about your ability to get pregnant, your doctor can run fertility tests beforehand.


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