Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills (COCs)

   
Should a woman take a “rest” from COCs after taking them for some time? Top
No. There is no evidence that taking “rest” is helpful. In fact, taking a “rest” from COCs can lead to unintended pregnancy.  
   
If a woman has been taking COCs for a long time, will she still be protected from pregnancy after she stops taking COCs? Top
No. A woman is protected only as long as she takes her pills regularly.  
   
How long does it take to become pregnant after stopping COCs? Top
COCs do not affect the return of a woman’s fertility after she stops taking them and therefore they do not delay. The woman can become pregnant immediately on discontinuing the pills.  
   
Do COCs cause birth defects? Will the fetus be harmed if a woman accidentally takes COCs while she is pregnant? Top
No. Reliable evidence shows that COCs will not cause birth defects and will not otherwise harm the fetus if a woman becomes pregnant while taking COCs or starts taking COCs in ignorance when she is already pregnant.  
   
Do COCs cause a woman to gain or lose a lot of weight? Top
Most women do not gain or lose weight due to COCs. Weight changes naturally as life circumstances change and as people age. There is no evidence supporting an association between COCs and weight gain.