How to Know if Birth Control is Working?

How to Know if Birth Control is Working?

April 24, 2021
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Birth control pills, also known as “the pill,” is a very popular oral contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy. The pill is a very effective form of birth control when taken regularly. It is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use, and approximately 91% effective with almost perfect use — which is a more realistic number for most women. 

The better you are at taking the pill every day, the more effective it will be, but no method is 100% perfect so it is important to learn more about the pill and proper birth control. This article answers some FAQs about the birth control pill and how to know if the pill is working for you.

What is the Birth Control Pill?

The birth control pill is type of hormonal birth control that needs to be taken orally at the same time every day. It is a very small, round pill that is easy to swallow. Some pills are even chewable!

Combination birth control pills work by delivering a small dose of estrogen and progestin that signals to the body to reduce or stop ovulation, to thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus, and to thin the lining of the uterus to reduce the likelihood that an egg would be able to attach to the uterine lining if it were fertilized. 

There are also progestin-only pills, known as the mini-pill, that are a better option for some women, including women who are breastfeeding, are at high-risk for blood clots, or who cannot otherwise take estrogen.

In addition to preventing pregnancy, the pill can lighten or stop your menstrual cycle, help reduce hormonal acne, reduce painful cramping, reduce the risk of ovarian and cervical cancer, treat endometriosis, as well as other reproductive health benefits.

Birth control pills often come in a pill pack that includes four weeks of pills. There is usually three weeks (21 days) of active pills and one week (7 days) of inactive pills or placebo pills. Some pill packs can include 24 days, 90 days, or even up to 365 days of active pills. The active pills and inactive pills are often different colors so it is easy to keep track of where you are in the cycle.

Most women will have a menstrual cycle or spotting while taking the inactive pills and may experience some spotting if taking a pill pack with a longer active pill section.

How Do you Know if the Pill is Working?

Based on what type of pill you are taking and when you start, your doctor can help you figure out how long it will take for your pill to start working.

It can take up to seven days for the combination pill to be effective and up to two days for the progestin-only pill to be effective at preventing pregnancy after you take the first dose. If you have intercourse during this time period after starting the pill, be sure to use another form of contraception to be sure you are protected against unintended pregnancy. 

There might not be any obvious external signs that the pill is working, but if you are taking it at the same time every day and not experiencing any adverse side effects then the pill should be effective.

If you are using the pill for other reasons, such as controlling irregular bleeding or hormonal acne, it can take up to four months to see signs that the pill is working. Be patient as your body adjusts to the new treatment and stay consistent with taking it regularly.

Long-term signs that the pill is working might include clearer skin, regular periods, and lighter and less painful periods.

Is it Possible for Birth Control to Not Work?

With perfect use of the birth control pill, it is possible but very unlikely to have an unintended pregnancy. Unintended pregnancies while on the pill can be serious and in case of ectopic pregnancy life-threatening, so call your NYC gynecologist or women’s health professional right away if you have missed a period or think you might be pregnant. Your doctor can discuss emergency contraception and pregnancy test options with you.

Of course, sometimes you forget a pill. If you forget a pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you missed a whole day, take the previous day’s pill plus your regular dose. Be sure to use a backup method of contraception or abstain from intercourse until you’ve gotten back on a regular regimen with your pill pack. It is a good idea to set calendar reminders or an alarm on your phone to help you remember to take your pill each day.

It is recommended to always use a backup birth control method while on the pill, such as condoms, especially if you have any missed pills. It is also important to use a barrier method of birth control, such as condoms, to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

How Do you Know if your Birth Control isn’t Working for You?

There are many different types of birth control pills so it is possible you will need to try a couple different kinds before you find the one that is right for your body. If you’re experiencing negative side effects from the pill, you may need to switch to another type of pill with different hormone dosages.

If you are experiencing any side effects, such as headaches, nausea, irritability and mood swings, breast tenderness, or abnormal spotting or breakthrough bleeding, speak with your health care provider about your birth control options. These side effects are common and can usually be resolved by a doctor.

If you don’t think birth control pills are working for you and you are interested in trying another method, ask your health care provider about other birth control options such as a hormonal intrauterine device (hormonal IUD), a non-hormonal copper IUD, or a vaginal ring such as the NuvaRing. These options are great for women who struggle with taking the pill on a regular daily basis because they are inserted into the body rather than taken orally. The vaginal ring can be used for three weeks at a time and IUDs can last for years.


My experience is always top notch here! Thank you…
ALL W.
ALL W.
18:58 07 Dec 22
These team of professionals are the best, so happy they are taking care of me.
Elsa N.
Elsa N.
21:46 06 Dec 22
They are very professional and treat with care.
Uptothe T.
Uptothe T.
19:31 05 Dec 22
I saw Dr. Yelena Tysba and she was very professional and courteous. She took her time with me and listened to my concerns. In addition, she was very gentle during my procedure and was very knowledgeable on various gynecological conditions. The ultrasound tech, Pat, was also very professional. During my ultrasound she was very kind, patient, and gentle. The two receptionist at the front desk and the nurse were also very professional while making my follow up appointment. I have been to this doctor’s office before and her diagnosis was accurate. I would recommend the GYN office to my family and friends.
Mary S.
Mary S.
22:09 01 Dec 22
Excellent service it’s a lot better than what it used to be and I am grateful for that.. doctor is wonderful.. and the PCA’s that work there are the best all of the women are caring and patient.. they make you feel welcomed..🙇‍♂️
Thomas R.
Thomas R.
22:30 28 Nov 22
Awesome service & very professional staff. I highly recommended this place.Specially Patrisha she is so helpful.Thank you so much!!
KS K.
KS K.
21:43 28 Nov 22
Everyone at the office is always very pleasant. The office is always clean, which is always top on my list. The doctor is always very thorough when explaining herself and also takes her time with you. I would highly recommend great city medical.
Luisa M
Luisa M
16:36 23 Nov 22
It was a great visit.
Willie E. A.
Willie E. A.
18:57 17 Nov 22
This is the best clinic I’ve been! The nurses and doctors treat you with kindness. They are all super friendly. Will definitely keep doing my check ups here!
Yikaury H.
Yikaury H.
23:56 15 Nov 22
I’ve been coming here for years and my doctor shows true concern about all my health issues staff here are also great
Trina M.
Trina M.
23:35 10 Nov 22
My visit was very quick for the first time I didn’t have to wait,
Monìque
Monìque
23:21 09 Nov 22
Great service.
Diego V.
Diego V.
21:16 07 Nov 22
Todos el personal es muy amable gracias
Tony D.
Tony D.
23:52 02 Nov 22
Great hospital
Fatoumata K.
Fatoumata K.
20:02 02 Nov 22
Professional, clean, not wait depend on time schedule appointment. I love evening hours appointment that do rush morning when traffic lot cars out there. I get keep my same doctor when Montefiore Oscar because not in New York so happy that my doctor professional his work, losing 200 pounds so happy after 410 for longest time. My diabetic 2 improve so much went from 8.9 too 5.7 that very jump. So his staff for very professional, and polite with me.
Bevelynn T.
Bevelynn T.
20:38 28 Oct 22
Very professional and friendly. Offices and waiting rooms are always clean, the employees work fast and effectively. They make sure your comfortable and understand what’s going on.
NADYA O.
NADYA O.
18:26 28 Oct 22
Very nice always very professional
Madeline C.
Madeline C.
23:52 25 Oct 22
The doctor is brilliant!!! And the staff will go above and beyond to help you, just be patient they have a lot of patience and you should too!!!
Tyrone H.
Tyrone H.
19:22 20 Oct 22
Great. Wait was surprising ok. Everyone was very nice 👍 Always a pleasant experience 😊
Lex G.
Lex G.
18:52 10 Oct 22
Great experience each time I go . Professional clean and very respectful office. Staff always pleasant. Doctors very caring.
Juanita R.
Juanita R.
17:40 05 Oct 22
Amazing staff. Little to no wait time. Worth the experience was in and out within a heart beat and all my questions and concerns were answered. MA and Doctor made me feel really comfortable. 10/10
Fatoumata K.
Fatoumata K.
22:17 04 Oct 22
Muy buena atención y el personal muy amable.
Linet Leyva B.
Linet Leyva B.
18:28 03 Oct 22
Great attentions !!!!!👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
Jonathan S.
Jonathan S.
17:15 12 Sep 22
I have a great experience this was my first time and I recommend the staff are all welcoming
Oneisha R.
Oneisha R.
19:55 09 Sep 22
I’m very happy that I choose this clinic for my medical exam for green card. I was afraid about my not perfect english and that I can’t understand everything correctly but all nurses and doctor were very patient and attentive. All procedures were made very professional and quick.
iren H.
iren H.
19:28 08 Sep 22
Very Professional Thanks
Saury G.
Saury G.
21:02 07 Sep 22
I love they how the staff was really friendly to me. Making me feel more comfortable with my visit, just love how pretty the place was and clean💕.
Andala M.
Andala M.
21:30 06 Sep 22
Always good service and kind people over there. I had 3 year’s going to there and I had good service with good doctors. Thank you for all the staff.
Yaneth P.
Yaneth P.
15:40 02 Sep 22
Great service. The intake with the nurse was pleasant and fun. The time with the doctor was very comfortable, she listened very attentivet all my concerns, she was very gentle and professional.They have late afternoon appointments wich is a plus.The final step was the scheduling of the next appointment wich was fast!My mom was right to recommend her and I recommend them as well.
Juana G.
Juana G.
22:07 30 Aug 22
Nice, quick, and ON TIME attention.Very clean; excellent and very kind staff.Special thanks to Patricia and to theDr. Grena.Highly recommended.
H. O. L.
H. O. L.
19:59 22 Aug 22
Muy bueno
carlos M.
carlos M.
07:18 20 Aug 22
Best plce
Mimi O.
Mimi O.
19:33 18 Aug 22
Starting from front desk very professional ladies Excellent thenTiffany very sweet I had so much anxiety & after I spoke w her I took a few deep breaths & I felt very comfortable she actually made me feel so comfortable thanks TiffanyThen Doctor Tsyba wow I couldn’t believe I didn’t feel a thing I was relaxed & she was great & then Patty sonogram very professional they all answered all my questions they’re great then I went to do blood work & the lady (I didn’t get her name) very professional.. when I encounter a place w such professionalism it makes me wanna Bragg to all females in my life Want great care, professionalism & feel comfy go to GREAT CITY MEDICAL these ladies do their job w a smile can’t wait to go back THANK YOU LADIES FOR ALL YOUR EXCELLENT WORK🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹MARY DIAZ
Ivy Deborah D.
Ivy Deborah D.
00:59 18 Aug 22
Great Place for immigration exams
Kyle S.
Kyle S.
18:07 08 Aug 22
Excelente atención desde secretarias enfermeras y doctora, el tiempo de espera fue largo ,pero el trabajo excelente, estoy muy satisfecha
Jose R.
Jose R.
23:58 28 Jul 22
Buen trato y buen servicio
Clsa 0.
Clsa 0.
08:43 28 Jul 22
Dr Grana is an amazing doctor! Facility is clean and some of the staff members are super friendly.
Lile shan S.
Lile shan S.
18:02 18 Jul 22
👍👍👍
Jann D
Jann D
19:22 15 Jul 22
Always ❤️ Love the care I get at Great City Medical the staff and my doctor are caring and attentive to my medical issues or concerns. We work as a team to make sure I understand my results and are happy with the outcome.
M I
M I
17:53 14 Jul 22
I’ve been going to this office for primary and gyn care for 3 or 4 years now and have had an outstanding experience every time. The staff and practioners are always super welcoming, helpful, and efficient. Thank you all for everything you do! 🖤
Sarah K.
Sarah K.
22:50 13 Jul 22
Super specialists, very kind personnel.
Kacper P.
Kacper P.
20:44 13 Jul 22
Professional staff, nice atmosphere. Recommend
Yelena C.
Yelena C.
21:49 08 Jul 22
Muyyyyyy buena soy una de las primera paciente hace más de 5 años y no voy de hay hasta que dios quiera excelente servicio amabilidad y profecionalismo sigan así
Escarlet C.
Escarlet C.
16:01 06 Jul 22
Dr Yelena was amazing, she really made my visit easy and comfortable. Loved her, highly recommend!
Valentina M.
Valentina M.
18:12 24 Jun 22
Amazing customer service! Friendly and efficient! Made it fun going to the GYN!
Clara M.
Clara M.
23:28 16 Jun 22
I received the best medical treatment and follow up services at this clinic.
Dshea Kinta M.
Dshea Kinta M.
13:22 20 May 22
I was in need of a new GYNECOLOGIST. I found Great City Medical in a Google search. I spoke with a staff member after hours via live chat an was scheduled the earliest appointment very quickly. All my basic questions were answered. I was sent to patient portal link to pre-register and fill out the forms. Upon arrival I was greeted with a smile and checked in quickly, wait time was short before the nurse called me in to be triaged. I was placed in a room, which was very clean. Dr. Tsyba greeted me with a smile and was very polite and Thorough with the examination. She explained to me in detail what procedures were going to take place and what testing will be done. The staff was very Knowledgeable and helpful as a first-time patient I enjoyed my visit I highly recommend this practice.
Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.
19:00 16 May 22
The place is very nice, and people are kind and professional. The only downside is that I have waited more than I expected (even though I arrived way earlier than the scheduled time), but maybe it’s been just a coincidence. That being said, nothing else to complain about!
Elena F.
Elena F.
02:02 13 May 22
I waited about 30 min to see the Tech, then spent like 20 min with her as a new patient, then about 10 min. more to see Jaime, the NP who was available, since Dr. Tsyba was in surgery. Jaime then consulted with Dr. Tsyba. I was very satisfied with the gentle, compassionate and thorough care I received by Jaime, and the technician who performed the 2 ultrasounds I needed. I’m happy I found this OB/GYN doctor. I hope to meet Dr. Tysba soon.
Awilda R.
Awilda R.
17:44 12 May 22
They was wonderful, the front desk and even my doctors very gentle with everything they do..I felt very comfortable to open up to them about my needs and I definitely felt like I was in great hands, when it’s comes down to OBGYN’s it’s very hard finding loyalty ,honesty, and security with your doctors THIS WAS WONDERFUL..i found out everything I needed to know and I will definitely enjoy being a new patient here !!!
Londaisha B.
Londaisha B.
12:43 12 May 22
Place was valid … 💯 very respectful and calls patients in a timely manner
Leenia M.
Leenia M.
19:44 02 May 22
Me encantó la atención del personal, y sobre todo la ginecóloga Yelena Tsyba, quien fue la Dra. que fui a consulta, bueno ella es muy profesional, muy amable y gentil ; también la persona que me hizo el sonograma,todos me trataron con mucha gentileza; fue mi primera vez y quedé muy contenta satisfecha…
Sovilek O.
Sovilek O.
02:35 29 Apr 22
I have known Dr.Tsyba for many years, she sees my friends and my sister gave birth to three children with her, personally in my practice there were moments when I had to urgently go to other doctors, after which I kept returning to her. She, as like a mother, will not advise bad things and will do everything possible to help. The staff is also very responsive and polite professionally fit every patient. You feel at home confidentially. Thank you doctor for your professionalism. I wish you more assistants so that you do not get tired.
Fatima A.
Fatima A.
03:19 06 Apr 22
Great people who made me feel very comfortable for my first appointment at this establishment. Much appreciated.
Nicole De L.
Nicole De L.
16:40 04 Apr 22
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Doctor in New York City

Looking for a primary care provider in New York City that you can depend on? Make your appointment with the physicians at Great City Medical by calling (212) 281-8600

Manhattan

68e 131st Street Suite 100, New York, NY 10037

Phone: (212) 281-8600

Monday: 9am-5pm
Tuesday: 9am-5pm
Wednessday: 9am-5pm
Thursday: 9am-5pm
Friday: 9am-5pm


Brooklyn

1513 Voorhies Ave 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Phone: (212) 281-8610

Monday:9:00AM-5:00PM
Tuesday:3:00PM-7:30PM
Wednessday: 9:00AM-5:00PM
Thursday: 9:00AM-5:00PM
Friday:10:00AM-2:30PM


Address

68 East 131st Street, Suite 100
New York, NY 10037


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Phone: (212) 281-8600
Fax: (212) 281-8601


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Copyright © 2020 Great City Medical. All Rights Reserved.