How to use Evelyn
Start in the green section of your blister pack, and take the pill that corresponds with the day of the week that you’re on. For example, if you start taking Evelyn on a Wednesday, take a pill with ‘WED’ printed beside it. Follow the direction of the arrow on the strip until you’ve taken all the ‘active’ and ‘inactive’ pills. The 21 active pills are yellow and the 7 inactive pills are white.
If you start taking Evelyn on the first day of your period, you’ll get immediate protection from becoming pregnant. You can also start to take it sometime between the second and fifth day of your cycle, but in these circumstances you must use extra protection, such as a condom, for the first 7 days while the pill takes effect.
It may be that you’re switching to Evelyn from another pill. In which case, you’ll have to start taking it the day after you took your last active pill. If you’re switching to Evelyn from a vaginal ring or patch, our prescriber can advise you on how to manage this.
Take one pill at the same time every day.
You can take Evelyn either with or without food, and with a small amount of water if you need to.
Follow the instructions in the patient information leaflet that come with your treatment before you start taking Evelyn.
Is Evelyn a daily pill?
Yes, Evelyn is a 28-day pill, so you take it every day for 3 weeks and then take an inactive pill for 7 days, which is essentially a pill without any active ingredients in. As a result, you can take nothing at all for seven days instead of the inactive pills - but taking the inactive pill instead of nothing might help you to keep and stay on track. To get the most protection from Evelyn, you should take it at the same time each day, on the day of the week printed beside each pill on the strip.
So they’re the basics.
During your 7 inactive pill days you’ll usually have a withdrawal bleed, like a menstrual period. If you want to skip this, just go straight from one strip of active pills onto the next. Then your bleed will come at the end of the next pack. This gives you some control over when you have your period and is perfect for holidays and special occasions.
You can take Evelyn continuously too. This way you won’t have any bleeding. It isn’t licensed to be taken in this way, but it’s safe and probably offers more reliable contraception.
What if I miss an Evelyn pill?
If you’re less than 12 hours late taking a pill, your protection from pregnancy isn’t reduced at all. Take the pill as soon as you remember, and take any subsequent pills at the usual time.
In the event that you’re more than 12 hours late taking a pill, the protection Evelyn offers from pregnancy may be reduced. The more pills that you forget to take, the greater the risk of becoming pregnant.
You’re most likely to get pregnant if you forget to take a pill either at the beginning or at the end of the strip.
If you forget to take more than one pill in the same strip, let us know. We can advise you what to do next.
In week 1, if you forget to take one pill, take the pill as soon as you remember, even if it means that you need to take two pills at the same time. Take any subsequent pills at the usual time, and use additional protection, such as a condom, for the next 7 days.
If you forget to take one pill in week 2, take the pill you’ve forgotten as soon as you remember, even if it means having to take two pills at the same time. If you have had sex during the week before forgetting to take a pill, you may be pregnant, and you should let us know.
In week 3, if you forget to take one pill, you can do one of two things. Take the pill as soon as you remember, even if you have to take two pills at the same time. You should then continue to take any pills at the time you usually do, but instead of taking 7 inactive pills, start the next strip. It’s likely that you’ll have a period at the end of the second strip, but it may be that you get some light or menstruation-like bleeding during the second strip.
Alternatively, you can stop the strip and start the 7-day inactive pill period, making a note of the day on which you forgot to take your pill. If you’d prefer to start a new strip on the day you always start a strip, shorten the length of the 7-day inactive-pill window.
If you’ve forgotten any of the pills in a strip, and you don’t experience any bleeding in the first inactive-pill period, you could be pregnant. You should contact your doctor before you start your next strip.
If you take several pills at any one time, you may get some nausea and vomiting. Young women may also experience bleeding from the vagina. Should you take too many pills, let our prescriber know and they can advise you.
Medically reviewed by
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022.
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
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