Facebook Pixel

What to do When You Miss a Birth Control Pill

By HERWriter
Rate This
birth control pills Via Pixabay

You slipped up and missed a birth control pill. Now what do you do? First things first, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to make sure you’re not at risk for an unintended pregnancy. A pregnancy due to missing a pill averages 1 to 2 pregnancies per 100 women. The action required for missing a birth control pill varies from the number of pills missed and which pill you missed. These steps apply to women who take combined hormonal birth control pills.

Missed One Active (Hormonal) Pill

As soon as you realize you missed one pill, take the missed pill immediately and then continue with the rest of the pack as usual. If you plan on having sex, no additional contraceptive or back-up method is needed, such as condoms. However, birth control pills do not protect from sexually transmitted diseases, and a condom should be used if such protection is needed. An emergency contraceptive, aka the morning after pill, is not needed in this situation.

Missed Two or More Active (Hormonal) Pills

Take two pills as soon as possible. If you find that you missed two or more pills ranging in the third week of your pack, continue taking the active pills on a daily basis. When you have finished the active pills in the pack, discard the inactive (non-hormonal) or placebo pills and start with a fresh pack. A back-up contraceptive method is needed in this situation. Use a condom or abstain from sex until you have taken one pill for seven days in a row. If you had unprotected sex within the past seven days or missed two or more pills during the first week, consider using an emergency contraceptive for maximum protection. If you decided to use an emergency contraceptive, you should still take that day’s scheduled pill.

Missed One or More Inactive (Non-hormonal) Pills

Discard the inactive pill that you missed and take the next one at your usual time the following day. A back-up contraceptive is not necessary in this situation and neither is an emergency contraceptive pill.

Editing Note: This article did not filter through the normal EmpowHER editing and fact checking process. It was checked for spelling and grammar.

Read more in Being HER




Being HER

Millennials And Why They Don't Want Kids

5 Reasons Millennials Don't Want Kids

Where is the US headed with maternity leave?

Where in the World Is the US Headed With Maternity Leave?

Study Reveals Connection Between Depression and Birth Control

Study Reveals Connection Between Birth Control and Depression

Mental Health Is as Important as Physical Health: Here's Why

Mental Health Is Just as Important as Physical Health: Here's Why

All in Being HER

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.