Medical Q&As

Pill breaks

I have been on the combined pill for 4 years non-stop. I am in my early twenties and a non-smoker. Do you recommend taking a break from it and discontinuing for a while or is it safe to continue using the pill for long periods of time?

There is no known benefit to health or fertility from taking breaks from the pill. However, if you felt more comfortable doing so I would strongly advise that you use an alternative method of contraception. Several studies have shown that up to 25% of women on a break from the pill became pregnant during that break. When you think about it you are already taking breaks from your pill because you only take it for three weeks out of every four. If you do a quick calculation you will see that over the four years that you have clocked up on the pill that you have already accumulated 42 weeks off the pill. There is no necessity to take a more extended break.