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How Well Does Apri Work?

Published: June 13, 2012
Dear How Well Does Apri Work?,

Hi, I'm wondering how well the birth control Apri works. My boyfriend and I are talking about having sex, and I am already taking Apri for my periods. We would also use a condom and be safe, but I'm wondering how effective Apri is. I want to be as safe as I can! Thanks (:


Dear How Well Does Apri Work?,

Apri

The Apri oral contraceptive is over 99% effective when used correctly. To achieve maximum effectiveness, Apri must be taken as directed and at intervals not exceeding 24 hours.

General Birth Control Effectiveness

While birth control pills offer no protection against the transmission of STDs, they are generally a very effective method of preventing unwanted pregnancies:

  • Less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they always take the pill each day as directed.
  • About 9 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they don’t always take the pill each day as directed.

What can interfere with the pill?

According to Planned Parenthood, there are things that can make the pill less effective:

  • The pill may be slightly less effective for women who are overweight.
  • The antibiotic rifampin, certain medications taken by mouth for yeast infections, certain HIV medications, certain anti-seizure medicines, and St. John’s wort can all make the pill less effective.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea may also keep the pill from working as it should.

Using condoms with the pill

TeenHealthFX does recommend that teens who are sexually active use condoms as well as a back-up method of birth control, such as the pill. So even though you are currently taking Apri, we do support your decision to use condoms as well. For one thing, condoms can help the spread of STDs while the pill cannot. Secondly, condoms provide you with a back-up method to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the event you forget a pill or anything else occurs that might interfere with the effectiveness of the pill.

Sexual readiness

Keep in mind that protecting yourself from unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs is only one of many factors to consider when determining sexual readiness. For more information on how to know when you are truly ready for sex, read our answer to Thinking Of Having Sex – What Do I Need To Know? and Want To Have Sex, But Not Sure If I Am Ready, as well as Planned Parenthood’s Am I Ready For Sex?

 

If you have any further questions or concerns about safer sex practices, you can discuss it with the doctor providing your Apri, or you can meet with a gynecologist or adolescent medicine specialist if that would be a more comfortable setting for you to discuss your sexual health. You might also speak to your doctor about STD testing for you and/or your boyfriend prior to becoming sexually active.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

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