Birth Control Pills

Patient

Q: I take the birth control Microgestin Fe 120 and have been for several months now. I have never missed a pill and take it everyday at the same time. I was recently told by a friend that there is one week each month that I am not protected. Is this true?

Doctor

A:   The last seven pills of each monthly pack are the placebo, or the inactive pills. The placebo pills are for your convenience, they do not contain hormones and are used when your expected to have a menstrual flow. They are added to remind you to start a new pill pack after 28 days. So yes one week each month you do not take hormonal protection, but that is because you do not need protection during the week you have your periods.

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