One of the complaints I hear from women about the Pill is that they have a hard time remembering to take it everyday. 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 7 consecutive days of pills.
- If you miss 1 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 1, take the pill you skipped AND the new 1 together. It's okay to take 2 pills at once.
- If you miss 2 pills, take 2 pills each day for the next two days, and then go back to 1 pill each day at your usual time. You could get pregnant if you have unprotected sex for the next 7 days, so make sure to use a backup method.
- If you forgot to take 1 pill during the 3rd 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 4th week of this new pill pack. Use a backup method of birth control until you have taken 7 consecutive days of pills.
What if you forgot 3 or more pills in a row? To find out read more
- If you forget 3 or more pills, call your doctor for advice. They 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 back up method of birth control method each time you have sex because you are no longer protected against pregnancy. After you've had 7 days of pills, then you are protected against pregnancy.
Dear's 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. It is available in many pharmacies over the counter without a prescription if you're over 18. Something that I have always found to be effective is to set the alarm on your cell phone or outlook calendar to remind you!