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We get it—birth control is a big decision! We’ve got you covered with any questions you might have. You can also ask your doctor as many questions as you like. That’s what they’re there for.

We get it—birth control is a big decision! We’ve got you covered with any questions you might have. You can also ask your doctor as many questions as you like. That’s what they’re there for.

Balcoltra is a birth control pill (oral contraceptive) used by women to prevent pregnancy. Balcoltra does not protect against HIV infections (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections.

Do not use Balcoltra if you smoke cigarettes and are over 35 years old. Smoking increases your risk of serious heart and blood vessel problems, including death from heart attack, blood clots, or stroke. This risk increases with age and the number of cigarettes you smoke.

Based on the results of a clinical study, about 1 out of 100 women may get pregnant within the first year they use Balcoltra. Taking your pill at the same time every day gives you the maximum protection against pregnancy. Learn more about how it works.

All it takes is 1 pill a day, at the same time every day. Take 1 orange pill for the first 21 days. Then take 1 blue reminder pill per day. When you’ve finished the pill pack, start a new pack whether or not you’re having your period. Easy as that.

You can either start on the first Sunday after your period starts (Sunday Start) or start on the first day of your period (Day 1 Start). The pack comes with stickers so you can label it according to when you start. Learn more about how to take Balcoltra.

Ask your doctor when to start taking your birth control pill.

Step 1 is don’t panic. Step 2 is to keep reading. Or check out our steps to getting back on track.

If you miss 1 orange pill:
Take it as soon as you remember. Continue taking 1 pill every day until you finish the pack.

If you miss 2 orange pills in a row in week 1 or 2:
Take the 2 missed pills as soon as you remember. Take the next 2 pills the next day. Continue taking 1 pill every day until you finish the pack. Use a nonhormonal backup birth control method (like a condom or diaphragm) for the next 7 days.

If you miss 2 orange pills in a row in week 3, or if you miss 3+ orange pills in a row:
If you started your pill pack on a Sunday, take 1 pill per day until Sunday. Then throw out the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack. Otherwise, throw out the rest of your pill pack and start a new pack that same day. Use a nonhormonal backup birth control method (like a condom or diaphragm) for the next 7 days.

The Bedsider Birth Control Reminders app lets you easily program funny or discreet reminders to take your pill at your specified time every day.

Balcoltra may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how Balcoltra works. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Common side effects include headache/migraine, irregular vaginal bleeding (including absence of period), nausea, breast tenderness and pain and discomfort, stomach (abdominal) pain, pain with your periods, mood changes (including depression), acne, and vaginal infections. See the Important Risk Information for more.

Balcoltra may cause serious side effects, including blood clots in your lungs, heart attack, or a stroke that may lead to death. See the Important Risk Information for more.

You may miss a period. Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting may happen, especially during the first few months of use—but it’s usually not serious. If it continues, especially after you have had regular menstrual cycles, call your doctor. It is important to continue taking your pills on a regular schedule to prevent a pregnancy.

Don’t panic! Some women miss periods on hormonal birth control, even when they are not pregnant. If you have 2 or more months in a row without a period, or you miss your period after a month in which you did not use all of your Balcoltra correctly, call your doctor because you may be pregnant. Also call your doctor if you have symptoms of pregnancy such as morning sickness or unusual breast tenderness. Stop taking Balcoltra if you are pregnant.

You may stop taking Balcoltra whenever you wish. Consider a visit with your doctor for a pre-pregnancy checkup before you stop taking Balcoltra.

Based on the scientific research, birth control pills do not seem to cause breast cancer. However, some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones. If you have breast cancer now, or have had it in the past, do not use birth control pills. Women who use birth control pills may have a slightly higher chance of getting cervical cancer. But researchers think there are other factors that explain this connection.