DrSugar is in the house! This week she's offering advice on when you've missed a dose, or two, or three, of birth control pills.
We receive countless questions from women who have inadvertently skipped a birth control pill, so I will be giving a general overview on what to do when you realize you have missed a dose. While this week's column will have general information on oral contraceptives and how to manage missing doses, I stress that it is best to talk with your health care provider who prescribed the pills about what to do. Different brands of pills have varying hormonal formulations and thus different potential effects when pills are missed. In some cases, you may be able to simply resume taking pills at your regular time the day after missing a pill and move on with life. In other cases, skipping even one pill (or extending the placebo week) could result in a serious threat to effective pregnancy prevention; it really depends on the type of pill you take. An additional factor to be aware of is that some brands of pills are multiphasic, meaning that pills in a single pack of birth control have differing levels of hormones. Depending on which pill you missed (or which "phase" pill it was), your health care provider may have different recommendations about how to proceed. This column will provide information from Planned Parenthood on the most common type of birth control pills, the combination pill.
Keep on reading to learn what to do if you miss a pill.