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Starting Estrostep Fe and What to Do About Missed Pills

Starting Estrostep Fe

When you take Estrostep Fe for the first time, you can start it either on the first day of your period (within 24 hours of the beginning of bleeding) or on the first Sunday after your period starts (even if you are still having your period). For many women, starting on Sunday may decrease the chance that you will have your periods on the weekends, although not all women find this to be the case.
 
If you start Estrostep Fe on the first day of your period (a "day 1 start"), you do not need any backup contraception. If you choose a Sunday start, you need to use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms, for the first week. If the first day of your period happens to be on a Sunday, treat this as a day 1 start (no backup needed). If you choose a Sunday start, you will start every pack of Estrostep Fe on Sundays. If you choose a day 1 start, you will start each pack on your initial start day (for instance, on Tuesdays, if you first started Estrostep Fe on a Tuesday).
 

What If I Miss an Estrostep Fe Dose?

It is important that you take Estrostep Fe every day and at the same time each day, even if you do not have sex very often. Missing pills increases the risk of pregnancy. What you should do if you miss pills depends on how many pills you have missed, if you are a day 1 starter or a Sunday starter, and when in the cycle the pills were missed. If you are not sure what to do about missed pills, use a backup method of contraception until you can speak with your healthcare provider. Some general instructions include:
 
  • If you miss one of the first 21 pills (the active tablets), take the missed pill as soon as you remember, and take the next pill at your regular time, even if this means taking two pills at once. You do not need a backup method of contraception, as you will be adequately protected against pregnancy.
     
  • If you miss two pills in a row during the first or second week of the pack, take two pills on the day you remember and two pills the next day. This should get you back on your regular schedule. You must use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms, if you have sex in the seven days after you restart the pills.
     
  • If you miss two pills in a row during the third week of the pack (or three or more pills in a row during weeks one through three), your instructions will vary, depending on whether you are a day 1 starter or a Sunday starter. If you are a day 1 starter, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new one right away. If you are a Sunday starter, take one pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the pack and start a new one (this keeps you on track as a Sunday starter). Either way, you need to use a backup method of contraception for a week. You may not have your period as usual this month, since you have skipped the pills with no active ingredients.
     
  • If you miss any of the last seven pills (the fourth week of the pack), throw away the pills you have missed and continue as usual. Missing these pills will not increase your risk of pregnancy, as long as you start your next pack on time. No backup contraception is necessary.
     
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