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I Forgot to Take My Birth Control Pill, What Should I Do?

I Forgot to Take My Birth Control; What Should I Do?

One of the complaints we hear from women about the birth control pill is that they have a hard time remembering to take it every day. So what happens if you forget? Being even 12 hours late taking your birth control pill could increase your chances of getting pregnant. If you miss any of the first 21 pills in your pack, you need to use a backup method of birth control (condoms) until you have taken seven consecutive days of pills.

  • If you miss one pill: Take it as soon as you remember. Take your next pill at the regular time.
  • If you realize when taking your pill that you skipped one: Take the pill you skipped and the new one together. It's OK to take two pills at once.
  • If you miss two pills: Take two pills each day for the next two days, and then go back to one pill each day at your usual time. You could get pregnant if you have unprotected sex for the next seven days, so make sure to use a backup method.
  • If you forget to take one pill during the third week of your pill pack: Finish the pills for that week, skip the last week (inactive pills), and begin a new pack. Understand that you probably won't have another period until the fourth week of this new pill pack. Use a backup method of birth control until you have taken seven consecutive days of pills.
  • If you forget three or more pills: Call your doctor for advice. She may suggest to take one pill daily until Sunday and then start a new pack, or to discard the rest of the pill pack and start over with a new pack that same day. Be sure to use a backup method of birth control each time you have sex because you are no longer protected against pregnancy. After you've had seven days of pills, then you are protected against pregnancy.

Advice: It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor if you have any questions. If you think there could be a chance that you are pregnant (and you don't want to be), emergency contraception (Plan B) is always an option. And as of last week, the morning-after pill is now available over the counter without a prescription for all ages.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich
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Join The Conversation
Mia4 Mia4 2 years
Hi I really need help ASAP !! I've been taking bc for about 4 months now and i missed 4 pills 2 weeks into my 4th month. I had unprotected sex about 5 days ago and I just got what seems to be my period but its 2 weeks early and the flow is heavier. Could my period be early or could I be pregnant?
Krys82 Krys82 2 years
Here's my Issue - I missed 3 pills. Did the double up as I was told. But I got my period for 4 days, but after that I've been spotting. It's going on for 2 weeks now. I only spot when I use the bathroom. I never stain. I also took a pregnancy test and it came out negative. Can I be pregnant. Is it normal? Someone please help
AlexandraAvila1378742411 AlexandraAvila1378742411 2 years
I just had a baby 2 months ago and didn't start my regular period until September 13th and was told by my doctor that as soon as I start my period to start the pack of pills. I took Fridays and Saturdays, but missed Sunday and Monday due to Misplacing my packet and couldn't find them.. I found them On Tuesday evening. My sister said to take all 3 of the pills. Does that mean I'm
kazsamshaw kazsamshaw 4 years
Hiya I have a problem im on 28 day pill on on the last day (sunday) of the 2nd week i forgot to take my pill then the next day monday the start of the 3nd week i took the pill (but i took it late) but didnt take the sunday pill then today (tuesday) i forgot to take my pill again and i had unprotected sex what do i do or is it to late could be pregant ? x
kazsamshaw kazsamshaw 4 years
Hiya I have a problem im on 28 day pill on on the last day (sunday) of the 2nd week i forgot to take my pill then the next day monday the start of the 3nd week i took the pill (but i took it late) but didnt take the sunday pill then today (tuesday) i forgot to take my pill again and i had unprotected sex what do i do or is it to late could be pregant ? x
basmaz basmaz 4 years
i've been on the pill for a year now, I am only taking it to fix my acne problem, i am not having sex. on the third week of my pill, i forget to take one and my period comes the next day, so i take two pills that day, and then i had two left in the packet, i decided not to take them as the bleeding didn't stop. I spotted for four days, very lightly, and then my period should have come the following week, and its a week late until now. i don't know why this happened, when should i expect it and what should do
lolarose49 lolarose49 4 years
here's my situation. i forgot to take my 21st pill (last one before 7 day break) and didn't realise before it would make any difference to take it... i'm now in betweeen my 7day break before restarting another packet. so my question is, since i have missed the opurtunity to carry on and start a new packet immediately, if i start my new packet (week 1) as normal planned am i protected? or should i perhaps start a day earlier since i stopped a day earlier in effect?
ann91 ann91 4 years
so i take my birthcontrol at 925... and i have sex like at 1030 without my backup method!! and it was around like 1103 when it hit me that i forgot to take my pill?? should i worry?
dramaqn15 dramaqn15 4 years
I was 8 hours late taking my pill 2 days ago. Yesterday I took it on time. Last night I had sex without a backup method. My period is next week. I do not want to be pregnant at this time. Should I be worried?
tiffie0304 tiffie0304 5 years
I messed up my bcp very badly this pack i haven't had any unprotected sex for 2 months though.. i missed 3 pills in my last week of active pills so i just gave up and was planning on just hving my period alittle early well i had 3 days of brownish discharge then nothing im now a week late and had 3 negative pregnancy tests. When will i have my period and could i be pregnant?
spudmuffin25 spudmuffin25 5 years
Okay, so i lost my pill pack and i didnt take my pills for atleast 6 days, then i found it and on a Sunday i took 2 pills, Monday took two pills also, then on Tuesday i took 2 more pills. But Monday night i had sex, but we used a condom, and i know that condoms arent always the most reliable and then i finished the last of the yellow pills in my pack on wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, and sunday. But i started taking the white (last week of pills that makes you have your period) this past Monday, and when ive taken the first white pill, my period starts atleast 24 hours after i take the first one, and i just took the second one tonight, and my period still hasnt come...does this mean im pregnant? please someone help me figure this out!....
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 5 years
When I first started the pill, I was told to use a back-up form of birth control for the first few weeks, just to be on the safe side. I would say you're probably okay but you did skip a day, which is never helpful. Always have a back-up method handy and remember to take your pill at the same time everyday. Set an alarm on your phone to go off when it's pill-taking time and always have your pills with you. I bought one of those 7-day pill cases so I can bring my pills with me if I know I'm not going to be at home during pill time.
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