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The Pill: Basic Info

The Pill

“The Pill” is a pill. (How’s that for stating the obvious?) Some people call it “oral contraception.” You take it once a day, at the same time every day. There are lots of different kinds of pills on the market, and new ones come out all the time. Most work by releasing hormones that keep your ovaries from releasing eggs. The hormones also thicken your cervical mucus, which helps to block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place.


The Right Time health centers stock all methods of contraception and offer free or low-cost contraception to those who need it. 

Different Types

  • Combination


    These use an estrogen/progestin combo that works with your body to prevent ovulation. A monthly combination pill pack contains three consecutive weeks of hormone-based pills and a week of placebos that’ll bring on your period.

  • Progestin-only


    Better known as the mini-pill, these have no estrogen in them and are often prescribed if you’re sensitive to combination pills and having side effects. They release a small amount of progestin every day of the month and don’t give you a period during a set week.


It takes discipline

You’ve got to remember to take your pill at the same time every day. Even on weekends. Even on vacation. So, ask yourself: how good are you with stuff like that?

You want predictable periods

If you feel comforted by getting your period every month—and not having random spotting in between—this could be a good choice for you.

Skipping Aunt Flo

Some pills allow you to skip your period altogether, which BTW, is totally safe. Consider the possibilities!

Smokers over 35, beware

For those over 35 years old, smoking while on the pill increases the risk of certain side effects. And if you’re younger, why not quit smoking now and save yourself the trouble in the future?

The pregnancy question

You will return to fertility (which just means that you go back to being able to get pregnant) just a few days after stopping the pill. So if you don’t want to get pregnant right away, make sure you start using an alternate method as soon as you stop taking the pill.

Don’t take our word for it. Check out the videos above to hear people talk about their experiences with the pill. And be sure to ask your health care provider which method is best for you.

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The Right Time Health Centers

Our partner health centers are focused on you. They provide access to all methods of birth control and free or low-cost birth control to those who need it.