For a tiny tablet, the Pill can raise a lot of questions. Do you really need to take it at the same time everyday? Is there are any truth to reports that it’s bad for you? And what do those sugar pills actually do?
In most combined pill packets, you’ll find seven sugar pills alongside the active hormone tablets. You’re instructed to take them during your period — but what happens if you don’t?
According to Dr Deborah Bateson, Medical Director of Family Planning NSW, the sugar pills were originally included as a reminder.
“They were just a way of getting women into the habit of remembering to take their pill, they don’t actually “do” anything,” she says.
“Traditional pill packs contain 21 active pills and seven sugar pills, while newer types have 24 hormone pills and four placebo pills. In other countries, they just have 21 active pills and no placebo pills at all.” (Post continues after gallery.)