How to take Loestrin
Loestrin birth control pills are more effective when they are taken at the same time every day. And this is birth control we’re talking about, so effectiveness is super important. Before you start taking your pills, pick a time that’ll be easy to stick to every day of the week. So if you get up at the crack of dawn on weekdays but sleep in on weekends, first thing in the morning might not be the best choice. (We like noon, personally, but it’s up to you.) If it’s hard for you to remember your pill every day, try setting a reminder on your phone — there are even apps to help you.
When you start taking Loestrin, it’s a good idea to use a back-up method like condoms for the first 7 days. This gives your body time to adjust to the pill and for its effectiveness to kick in, ensuring you’re as protected as possible.
You don’t have to take your birth control pill with food, but you might have an upset stomach when you start using it. Nausea is a common side effect of using Loestrin. If you experience nausea around the time you take your pill, try having it with a small meal or snack to help settle your stomach.
Loestrin 1.5/30 has 21 active pills you’ll take for the first three weeks followed by a week of inactive pills — that’s when you’ll have your period.
How effective is Loestrin?
There isn’t a 100% effective birth control method, but Loestrin comes pretty close. When taken correctly, it’s around 99% effective. This means that if 100 women took Loestrin daily for a year, less than 1 woman would become pregnant.
By taking birth control correctly, we mean at the same time every day and as directed on the accompanying package insert. Correct use of birth control is how it’s done in clinical trials. But in day-to-day life, you’re more likely to take your pill “typically.”
Typical use considers things like taking your pill late or occasionally missing a pill. This lowers the effectiveness and your chances of being pregnant increase, so it’s important to stick to the routine as well as possible. If you’re finding yourself regularly forgetting pills, a non-daily method like the patch or ring might be better for you.
What happens if I miss a pill?
Missed pills can happen from time to time. Don’t panic — just get back on track as soon as possible.
If you miss one Loestrin pill, take it as soon as you remember. This could mean taking two in one day. After that, take one pill a day like normal.
If you miss two active pills in Week 1 or Week 2, take two pills a day for the next two days. After that, take one pill a day like normal. We recommend using a back-up birth control like condoms for a week to make sure you’re adequately protected.
If you miss two consecutive active pills in Week 3 (or if you miss three active pills in a row during any week), throw your pack away and start a new one that day. (If you’re a Sunday Starter, keep taking a pill each day until you reach Sunday and then start a new pack.)
When you miss a pill, the hormone levels in your body change and you might not get your period that month. If you don’t get your period the following month, though, you should take a pregnancy test.
This page was medically reviewed by Ms Laurenmarie Cormier, Nurse Practitioner
on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.