3 things to do if you missed a birth control pill

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Birth control pills can be great. Often they have positive side effects, like clearing up acne or making your period shorter and lighter. And - oh yeah - they help prevent unwanted pregnancy. However, you have to be diligent about taking your pill around the same time every day. But hey, things happen, no one is perfect, and sometimes we forget. What do you do if you forget to take a birth control pill? Here are the steps to follow:

  1. When you forget to take your pill on time, take it as soon as you remember. If you miss a pill and remember to take it within 24 hours, just take it, keep calm, and carry on.

  2. If you miss more than 24 hours, take two pills the next day.

  3. If you forget to take two pills in a row, take two pills that day and two pills the next day. (Keep in mind that missing a pill or taking a pill late may cause abnormal bleeding or spotting, but this is not dangerous.)

  4. Use a backup method (like condoms) or abstain from intercourse for the next seven days. It’s always best to be safe.

What if I forget to take my placebo pills?

If you forgot to take a placebo pill in the last week of your pack, you can discard that reminder pill and continue on as usual.

What if I forget to take my progestin-only “mini-pills”?

If you are taking a progestin-only “mini-pill” you need to take it at the same time every day. If you are even a few hours late in taking it at any point during the month, follow the above steps and also use a backup method for a week.

Many women cannot take combined hormonal birth control pills for various health reasons. For others a daily pill just doesn’t work with their schedule. If you would like to discuss other birth control options, such as the NuvaRing or IUDs, book an appointment with any of our Maven practitioners - your first appointment is free!