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Gynecology

Birth control pill switching

02/18/2009

Question:

Dear expert,

If I use one kind of birth control pill and I want to switch to another kind of birth control pill, can I do it right away or should I wait until I finish the old pill? If I switch the pill before I finish it, does it affect the effecacy of the contraception?

Answer:

Generally, it is better to finish the current package of pills and begin the new pill with a new package to avoid having irregular bleeding. If you switch mid package, you should make sure that you do not miss any days of pill taking. Assuming you are switching between estrogen containing pills, this should not change the effectiveness of the pill.

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Response by:

Lisa M Keder, MD, MPH Lisa M Keder, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University