1. Give pills
  • Give as many packs as possible—even as much as a year’s supply (11 packs of 35 pills each or 13 packs of 28 pills each).
2. Explain pill pack
  • Show which kind of pack—28 pills or 35 pills.
  • Explain that all pills in POP packs are the same color and all are active pills, containing a hormone that prevents pregnancy.
  • Show how to take the first pill from the pack and then how to follow the directions or arrows on the pack to take the rest of the pills.

3. Give key instruction Woman linking pill-taking with daily activity-such as brushing her teeth.

  • Take one pill each day—until the pack is empty.
  • Women who are not breastfeeding should take a pill at the same time each day. Taking a pill more than 3 hours late makes it less effective.

  • Discuss cues for taking a pill every day. Linking pill-taking to a daily activity—such as cleaning her teeth—may help her remember.

4. Explain starting next pack
  • When she finishes one pack, she should take the first pill from the next pack on the very next day.
  • It is very important to start the next pack on time. Starting a pack late risks pregnancy.
5. Provide backup method and explain use
  • Sometimes she may need to use a backup method, such as when she misses pills or is late taking a pill.
  • Backup methods include abstinence, male or female condoms, spermicides, and withdrawal. Tell her that spermicides and withdrawal are the least effective contraceptive methods. Give her condoms, if possible.
6. Explain that effectiveness decreases when breastfeeding stops
  • Without the additional protection of breastfeeding itself, POPs are not as effective as most other hormonal methods.
  • When she stops breastfeeding, she can continue taking POPs if she is satisfied with the method, or she is welcome to come back for another method.