General Question

amoreno06's avatar

While on birth control, how long does one have to wait until you don't have to use condoms anymore?

Asked by amoreno06 (352points) August 10th, 2009

I’m on Yaz.
And I know I shouldn’t go off condoms completely. But I’m just sexually active with one person, so no std’s.
I know I should probably already know the answer to this question…and I did when i asked my doctor. but I forgot and feel like a dunce asking again.

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24 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Each combination of synthetic hormones has a different answer. I suggest a good read of the material that accompanied the prescription.

cyn's avatar

There is also a possibility that you might get pregnant even using the birth control pill….

Facade's avatar

I think it’s a few months. Might wanna ask your gyno

marinelife's avatar

“Women should use another method of birth control during the first month taking the pill.

If you skip one or more pills, take the following precautions:

* Missing the first pill in a new cycle. Take a tablet as soon as you remember and the next one at the usual time. Two tablets can be taken in one day. Use barrier contraception for 7 days after the missed dose. [See “Spermicidal and Barrier Contraception.”]
* Missing a pill 2 days in a row. Take 2 pills as soon as you remember and then 2 more the following day. Also use back-up barrier contraception until the next pill cycle.
* Missing more than 2 days. Discard the pack, use a back-up birth control method, and begin a new cycle on the following Sunday, even if you have started bleeding.”


Are you sure that you are comfortable with Yaz? There have been some serious side effects. If you search for Yaz problems, you will see that some firms are looking into lawsuits.

casheroo's avatar

I was always told two weeks, but a month to be on the safe side. I’ve never had a doctor tell me a couple months…and I’ve been on plenty of different types of birth control.

nikipedia's avatar

It depends on where you are in your cycle. The pill works by suppressing ovulation, so if you are already ovulating or very close to it, you can still become pregnant while taking the pill. To be entirely safe, you should take a full 28-day cycle of pills before having sex without a secondary form of birth control because you most likely don’t know exactly when you ovulate. (Realistically, if you start taking the pill in the first few days of your cycle, you are protected from the beginning.)

@pdworkin: This should not change regardless of the formulation of the particular pill taken.

sjmc1989's avatar

I have always been told by my gyno that it takes a full month for the pill to take full effect. Which it very well could vary. When in doubt check with a professional.

samanthabarnum's avatar

Even if all you have to worry about is pregnancy, in all honesty, you should still use them. My sister was born when my mother was on the pill.

westy81585's avatar

It varies based on the specific pill. As little as a couple weeks, as much as 2 or 3 months.

MAKE DAMN SURE you take the pill at the same time every day and NEVER miss one. Missing even one pill or taking it off schedule can drastically lower the effectiveness of the pill (this is USUALLY why the pill fails, as it is typically above 99% effective when taken properly).

And for the love of god remember, it will NOT WORK if you are taking antibiotics.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

So many people get pregnant while on birth control pills, even when taking them like clockwork. Keep in mind certain medications can reduce the effectiveness of the pills. If I had to do birth control again, I’d look into IUD’s.

MagsRags's avatar

Providing contraception is a big part of my women’s health care practice. If you start your first pack the same day your period starts, protection starts immediately. That relates back to @nikipedia‘s comments about suppressing ovulation – at that point in your cycle, the egg has not started maturing. If you’re starting later in your cycle, give it a minimum of 2 weeks, ideally until the end of the first pack.

@westy81585, the belief that antibiotics reduce the effectiveness of OCPs is actually pretty much a myth, although even some physicians and pharmacists still warn women about it. The studies this belief is based on measured hormone levels in the bloodstream and break through bleeding as surrogate markers for pregnancy risk – they didn’t actually show increased ovulation or pregnancy. The studies were also quite small. There is no good evidence that taking antibiotics increases pregnancy risk. A very small percentage of women will have decreased blood levels of estrogen while on antibiotics due to effects on bacteria in the colon, and that might cause some breakthrough bleeding. But it turns out that progesterone is the most important hormone when it comes to pregnancy prevention – thickening the cervical mucus is just as important as supressing ovulation, if not more so.

Women who are on some anti-seizure drugs (not all of them) do have reduced OCP effectiveness because of more rapid metabolism of both estrogen and progesterone in the liver. St John’s wort and a few other meds can cause the same problem.

@Marina, Yaz is an OCP with a progesterone that has some unique effects, which can be both good and bad. It’s especially effective against acne and fluid retention and PMS, but in high risk women, it can cause increased levels of potassium in the bloodstream. High risk conditions would be certain hypertensive meds, and a few other meds. OCPs are safe and effective for most women.

Sorry for the long post – hope this isn’t TMI!

fallingtoofast's avatar

I would say a month. my gyno told me that after a week it works…but i personally think that’s too short. if u don’t want to use a condom then i suggest another form of birth control to work with the pill. (like spermicide).

Kayak8's avatar

I really hate to sound like an old grump, but with the type of STD’s in the universe today, would it be ridiculous to suggest that you never dump the condoms (even with the use of Yaz or another product). While you may be faithful (and we all certainly hope he is and continues to be), the reality of the sexual behavior of “faithful” men has caused a number of women to become infected with HIV.

It is really hard to stop using condoms and then later suggest adding them back into the act when you feel nervous or concerned about his (or another partner’s behavior).

Might I suggest, at very least, that you both get tested for HIV? Many folks say they are HIV negative despite never having had a test. Condoms are also great at protecting folks against herpes viral infections (which don’t always include outbreaks to be infectious).

Many women get screened for STDs during their annual exams, but many assume their docs are doing the screens when this is not the case. It is worth making sure. Men often do not get screened for stuff (with many STDs, the evidence is obvious and, with long-held fears of their prized possession falling off, they get things checked out). It is worth both of you getting a review by knowledgeable medical personnel BEFORE dumping the condom routine . . .

Some things can be treated and others can not . . .

amoreno06's avatar

@Kayak8 i did get tested. he didn’t trust me and asked me to get tested.
so i am clean.
this was after i had sex with him so i know he’s clean too.
and i’ve been meaning to get tested again from a different place. just so i know for sure the first place didn’t make any mistakes.

amoreno06's avatar

@nikipedia & @MagsRags ok, so i decided to do the “sunday start”. i got my period thursday and am supposed to start taking the first pill that same sunday. that means it should start working right away, right?

MagsRags's avatar

With the 3 day delay between the onset of the period and taking the first pill, I would give it 2 weeks of daily use before counting on it for birth control.

If you started it the same day as your period started, you could consider yourself protected immediately.

Regarding STD testing, the tests are easy and accurate for gonorrhea and chlamydia. The experts encourage us healthcare providers to screen young women 25 and under routinely – some of my patients say no because they’re on their parents insurance and don’t want them to get an insurance statement from the lab specifying tests.

Viral infections like herpes and HPV can’t be “screened for” in the usual meaning of the words. HPV and HSV viruses can be dormant with no symptoms for long periods of time. There’s no blood test for HPV and with two types of HSV, the serum antibody test can be challenging to interpret unless it’s completely negative. Condoms don’t do a great job of preventing transmission of HSV and HPV – it’s a skin to skin vector and there’s too much skin left uncovered. Chlamydia, on the other hand, transmits tip of the penis/semen to cervix, so condoms give good protection.

Kayak8's avatar

@amoreno06 He didn’t trust you . . .
You got tested AFTER you had sex with him (apparently without a condom) and that is how you know he doesn’t have HIV? Typically, it is best for both people to get tested. Just like you don’t get pregnant every time you have sex, you can have sex with an HIV+ person and not get infected during that particular encounter. The fact that you tested negative after having sex with him says nothing about his status. Just want to be clear about this.

amoreno06's avatar

@Kayak8 ok, thanks. i’ll talk to him bout getting tested.

MerMaidBlu's avatar

I would wait until you were on the next packet because most of the birth control pills that I’m aware of take a little while to become effective in your system. Using condoms are not exactly something you should think about omitting unless you’ve been with the guy for a while. It also is going to depend on what you’re trying to stay protected from. I’ve heard that some STD’s can’t be stopped by a condom.

Response moderated
Ashleyh429's avatar

Umm.. last time I checked, STDs couldn’t be stopped completely by condoms in the first place. I mean, if you want to take the risk, then go ahead… I’ve heard a month and I’m on Yasmin. But personally… I’d be REALLY careful if I were you…

BBQsomeCows's avatar

condoms are only studied to REDUCE risk of HIV.

condoms are ineffective against DOZENS of STDs.

condoms are too porous to stop HPV

condoms have an FDA documented ~%14 failure rate


female birth control, whether chemical or mechanical, is ABORTIFACIENT not contraceptive

MagsRags's avatar

Ah, here you are again @BBQsomeCows – and again you are incorrect in your comment about birth control and misleading about your comments on condoms.


When the two of you are happily married and committed to each other, and desire children. Then both of you can let go and party! Lol.

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