How can pill continuation rates be increased? #1119/11

When women initiate pills, 9 percent of them become pregnant within a year.  This is a sad, sad number.

Between 800,000 and 1 million women depending on pills become pregnant each year!  How can women and their clinicians improve the correct and consistent use of pills and improve the continuation rates of pills?

Here is one approach to improving the consistency of birth control pill use: 


Provide more pills!
Prescribe and dispense 6 to 12 months of an OC at office visits

Women who are given 6 or more oral contraceptive pill packages at a clinic visit have a lower discontinuation rate than women given 1 to 5 packs.

Prescribing a 1-year supply of oral contraceptive pill-packages (as opposed to 1 to 3 packs) is associated with a 30% reduction in the odds of conceiving an unplanned pregnancy and a 46% reduction in the odds of having an abortion.

Starting oral contraceptive pills immediately—instead of waiting for the Sunday after the next menses—can improve the short-term continuation rate for women patients who choose an oral contraceptive (OC).



To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of oral contraceptive pills, go to our website: and click on
Choices 2013 edition.  You can also order this wonderful new educational book from our website or by calling 404-875-5001.  Do you have your copy yet?

  This book is now available in English and Spanish.

Key Words:  birth control pills, oral contraceptives, continuation rate, increase, women, clinicians, prescribe more, clinic visits, discontinuation rate, opposed, reduction, conceiving, unplanned pregnancy, abortion, menses, short-term

Posted 11-27-2011, Updated 11-29-2011, Updated 3-29-2014


Posted on

March 29, 2014