How long does the pill take to work?

For the combined pill (COC), if you start within the first five days of your menstrual cycle then it will be effective immediately. If you start after the first five days of your cycle, then the combined pill will not be effective for 7 days and you should use additional protection.

For the progestogen only pill (POP) see How long does the mini pill take to work?

Helen Burkitt, Senior Sexual Health Nurse at SH:24
Written by Helen Burkitt. Senior Sexual Health and Contraception Nurse

Last updated at: 10 March 2022