Birth control pills (the pill) are a kind of medicine with hormones. The pill comes in a pack, and you take 1 pill every day. The pill is safe, affordable, and effective if you always take your pill on time. Besides preventing pregnancy, the pill has lots of other health benefits, too.

The pill contains two hormones – oestrogen and progestogen, which are like hormones that are produced by the ovaries. It works by stopping sperm from joining with an egg. When sperm joins with an egg it’s called fertilisation – with no egg for sperm to fertilise, pregnancy can’t happen.

It also thickens the fluid around the cervix (opening to the uterus or womb) to prevent the sperm from entering. Think of it as a sticky security guard!

Forgetting pills, losing the pack, not refilling your prescription on time (Youly won’t let this happen, we ship your repeats) — these are the main reasons why people might get pregnant when they use the pill. It’s good to plan ahead and think about the best way for you to use the pill correctly. Here are some ways to help you remember to take your pills every day:

  • Use a birth control reminder app or set an alarm on your phone.
  • Keep your pill pack next to something you use every day (like your toothbrush or phone charger).
  • Keep your pills in your bag so they’re always with you.
  • Be pill buddies with friends or family members who also take medicine every day, and help each other remember.
  • Your partner can help remind you.
  • Do whatever works to help you take your pill on time, all the time.

Remember, the pill doesn’t protect you from STDs so make sure you use a condom every time you have penis-in-vagina sex.

The pill has a high success rate, but we break it down further in this guide if you want to learn more.

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