How long do I need wait before my contraception is effective


It is important to know that not all your birth control or contraception is immediately effective the day you have them taken or inserted.

There is a little window period where you remain unprotected from a pregnancy. During this time, while we are waiting for the contraception effect to fully kick in, you will need to use backup contraception like condoms.

How long it takes for contraception to become fully effective would depend on 

  1. What contraception you are taking eg pills or IUDs or patches or injections 

  2. Where in your cycle were you when you began taking it 

Ideally all contraception should be started anywhere in the 1st 5 days from the day your menstrual flow starts. Then, we know with more certainty that 

  1. You are not pregnant 

  2. It would be quicker for your contraception to become effective 

How long does it take for my contraception to work?

Provided they are commenced in the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle, here’s how long it takes for each contraception to safely and fully be effective 

Combination pills eg Yaz, Yasmin, Mercilon, Diane 35 – at least 24 hours

Progesterone only pills – at least 48 hours 

Patches eg Evra  – at least 24 hours

Mirena IUD - at least 24 hours

Copper IUD – immediately effective upon insertion 

Implanon – at least 24 hours 

Depo injection - at least 24 hours 

What if the contraception is commenced after the 1st 5 days from the start of my menses?

If contraception is commenced anytime after the first 5 days from the start of your menstruation then this is how long you’d have to wait before the medication or deice become effective 

Combination pills - at least 7 days 

Progesterone only pills - at least 7 days

Patches eg Evra - at least 7 days 

Mirena IUD - at least 7 days 

Copper IUD - immediately effective upon insertion 

Implanon - at least 7 days 

Depo Injection - at least 7 days