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Oral contraception – starting, stopping or changing


The effect of the oral contraceptive (OC) pill takes time to develop, may be lost if the pill is forgotten or missed, and may be compromised on changing from one type of pill to another. Advice on how to deal with these situations is given by the Family Planning Information Service in a method instruction sheet, by the DHSS in a Handbook of Contraceptive Practice and by manufacturers in their data sheets. However the advice is not always consistent. This article aims to clarify the guidance.

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