Missed Birth Control Pill: What Are the Consequences? Tips on What to Do

missed birth control pill. woman's hands holding pills

What should a woman do if she missed a birth control pill? Is there any need to keep on taking pills? Can pregnancy occur? Before the appointment of oral contraceptives, the majority of doctors immediately warn their patients that hormonal contraception is reliable only if the pills are taken on time, according to a strict schedule. Still, many women sometimes face the situation when they’ve missed birth control pill.

General Information on What to Do If You Missed Birth Control Pill

The algorithm of further actions largely depends on the situation and the day of the menstrual cycle when the pill was not taken. So, if a woman missed the first pill, that is, she was only going to use this type of contraception, but she took the pill only on the second day of the menstrual cycle – it’s not a reason for concern. According to the instructions, it is allowed to start taking pills up to the 5th day of the cycle. At the same time, in this case, during the next 7-10 days, it is better to use additional means of contraception (barrier or chemical) since pregnancy is possible in this situation. After these days, in the case of strict observance of the instructions, you can completely relax.

If you missed one birth control pill, you need to carefully study the instructions in order to find out what to do. Usually, if this is the first two weeks of taking the pills, then you just need to quickly take the missed birth control pill and then use additional means of contraception for the next few days to protect yourself. If this is the last week of taking the pills, there are 7 or fewer pills left, then you need not only to quickly take the missed birth control pill but also go on without a seven-day break before starting a new package of the pills.

missed birth control pill. woman in the bed holding birth control pills

2 Missed Birth Control Pills

If you missed 2 birth control pills at the beginning of the cycle (the very first pills), there are several options for the development of events.

  1. Keep on taking the pills but use other means of contraception for the next 10 days.
  2. Give up taking birth control pills. But take into account that with the beginning of admission in the next cycle, there may appear side-effects, characteristic for the first months of taking the contraceptive when the body “gets used” to the new hormonal background.

But in any case, there is the probability of pregnancy due to inaccuracies in taking the pills. That means that if you break the schedule of taking birth control pills, you can get pregnant.  What’s more, mistakes in taking the birth control pills may result in the intermenstrual discharge, sometimes even severe bleeding.

Unplanned Conception On Birth Control Pills

And yet what to do if there was an unplanned conception? Do these hormones affect the embryo? Doctors say that if a woman misses a birth control pill and becomes pregnant, then it doesn’t always mean the need for an abortion. But, naturally, you shouldn’t take any birth control during pregnancy. If the child is undesirable, it is possible to have an abortion, including a medical one, if the period of pregnancy allows.

Modern methods of contraception are reliable and safe only when a woman seriously and responsibly treats these drugs. Take the pill according to a specific system and with strict adherence to the timeframe, so you will not have questions on what to do with a missed birth control pill.

Each package contains an instruction that indicates the dosage, time and method of use. But sometimes it happens that for some reason you cannot or simply forget to take the pill. After a certain time, the contraceptive properties of the drug decrease, and this leads to an increased risk of pregnancy.

missed birth control pill. unplanned pregnancy

Sequence of Actions After a Missed Birth Control Pill

If a woman has noticed that she lost her birth control pill and missed the necessary period of intake, the following actions should be taken:

  • Calm down and do not panic. The solution of the problem should be taken consciously and calmly, no matter how long it took from the moment when a woman did not take the contraceptive pill on time.
  • Take the missed birth control pill as soon as possible.
  • Study the instructions for the drug. It usually indicates what to do if the woman has forgotten to take the last birth control pill.

If you can’t find the instruction, then your actions will depend on the type of birth control you use (combined with placebo or the main one) as well as on your menstrual cycle and the period since the last reception of the pill.

The Period of the Missed Birth Control Pill and Possible Consequences

If a woman missed the pill and the period of a missed dose did not take more than 8 hours, then there is nothing to worry about, the effect of birth control will be preserved.

Sometimes it happens that you forget that you already took a pill and take an extra pill, which means taking 2 pills instead of 1. Such a situation does not carry special consequences. What’s more, in most cases, no side-effects occur. However, keep in mind that you should take the next pill at the scheduled time, regardless of the fact that the day before you took the double dose. In this case, the package of the drug will simply end one day earlier than planned. But such experiments on the body can be extremely dangerous. Therefore try to avoid such situations.  Use an additional calendar (electronic or ordinary) to memorize. In any case, if a woman has forgotten to take a contraceptive pill, then she should do it immediately after she remembers it. Time plays a key role here.

missed birth control pill. Birth Control Pills with 3 pills missing

Combined Birth Control Pills

Combined birth control pills contain progestin estrogen. Usually, there are 28 pills in a package. 21 of them contain hormones. If you missed taking one hormone pill in the first week, it is better to use emergency contraception. Then – take the pills according to the schedule. If you are late for more than 12 hours, you should urgently take a pill and protect yourself with other means of contraception throughout the following week. If you miss a birth control pill on the second week, you don’t have to use additional means of contraception. The same situation is with the third week.

In the case you missed taking two pills, take the missed pill during the first 12 hours. After that, take the pills according to the schedule. It is compulsory to use additional protection for a week. In some cases, you can take two pills at once with other methods of contraception.

Missed Birth Control Pills and Sex

In case you missed taking two pills and had a sexual intercourse, it is better to use emergency contraception in order not to get pregnant. The next day, take the pills again according to the old scheme. If a woman does not want to use emergency contraception, pills can be taken on schedule but before the next menstrual cycle, a woman needs to use other means of contraception.

missed birth control pill. birth control pills and condoms

If you missed taking 2 pills, but during this period there was no sexual intercourse, you can take both pills at once, and then – on schedule. Still, it is advisable to use other means of birth control.

Keep in mind, that you can take two pills at once, only if it is allowed by the instruction. Some birth control pills can cause side-effects in the case of an overdose.

Birth Control Pills of New Generation

When using the new generation of contraceptive pills which are available in different colors, you should keep in mind that each color corresponds to a certain cycle. Therefore, a pill cannot be replaced by a pill of another color. In this case, immediately take the missed birth control pill, then take the next dose on time, even if you have to take 2 pills in one day. Additional contraceptive methods are mandatory.

If you missed the intake of non-hormonal white pills – placebo ones, you do not need to take another one. Additional means for protection are also not necessary.

In any case, after a missed dose of any contraceptive, carefully study the instructions. Also, you should see a doctor and ask them what to do in such a situation.

When a woman decides to protect herself from unwanted pregnancy with oral contraceptives, she must take this step with all responsibility. In order not to miss the reception of the contraceptive in everyday bustle and worries, you should come up with a reminder. It can be a note in your wallet, a beep on your phone, an attached message on a mirror or a monitor, etc.

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