What If You Miss A Birth Control Pill?

Marietta OB-GYN

Life happens to everyone, and because we are not programmed robots, we occasionally forget to do things. While taking a birth control pill every day should be easy to remember, stress, running late, and other deadlines can often cause you to forget even the most repeated activities. Yet, missing a birth control pill can have consequences that you may not be ready for.

Most birth control pills need to be taken on a schedule to be effective. Progestin-only pills need to be taken at the exact same time each day to be effective! Oral contraceptives work by interrupting your hormones in a way that prevents ovulation and pregnancy. In order to maintain the balanced interruption of your hormones, it is necessary to consistently take birth control pills. Missing a pill can leave you unprotected in terms of getting pregnant, so this form of birth control requires responsibility on your part.

What to do if you miss a pill?

Well, it is first imperative to know what type of pill you are taking. If you are taking a pill that contains both estrogen and progestin, missing just one pill out of the month is not a major cause for concern. Simply take the missed pill as soon as you can, even if it means taking two pills in one day. Most women on a combination pill will not be highly susceptible to pregnancy if even they had sex the day of the missed pill. However, if you have missed repeated pills while being sexually active, you need to prepare yourself that you may be pregnant by the end of the month. If you do not become pregnant, yet you still find yourself missing more than one pill a month on a repeated basis, you should consider using a backup method (condoms) to prevent pregnancy.

Now, if you are taking a progestin-only contraceptive, missing a single pill can put your hormones out of whack. These pills are effective when they are taken at the same time each day. If you miss even one pill, you will be at risk for pregnancy. Progestin-only pills are different than combination pills in that they deliver certain levels of hormone interruption with each pill. Which pill you miss from your pack matters.

If you are a chronic pill misser, there are other methods of preventing pregnancy. At Marietta OB/GYN Affiliates, P.A., we can help you find the right form of contraceptive that is right for your lifestyle. Being honest with yourself and your doctor about how easy it is to remember a daily pill will be in your best interest.