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Can you get pregnant after missing 3 mini pills?

By Anonymous July 8, 2016 - 7:31am
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I recently changed from the combined pill to the mini pill (around 10/11 days ago) and took the new pills straight after finishing my last pack. I had a bleed around 5 days after starting the new pill but it was very light, watered down with no clots - sorry, too much information! - however, after losing my phone and being without the reminders, I managed to miss my pills on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - not sure how I managed to go without realising for so long! I have unprotected sex on Tuesday morning and have started to worry about my chances of being pregnant. I know it'll be too soon to tell with a test and after hours of googling I'd really appreciate any advice or information!


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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER. Thank you for reaching out to our community with your concern regarding the risk for pregnancy by having unprotected intercourse while missing three consecutive doses of mini birth control pills.

It is important to look at what the mini birth control pills contains and how it works to prevent pregnancy.

The progestin-only birth control pill, commonly called the minipill, is an oral contraceptive. Each pill contains a small amount of progestin, the synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. The pills come in packs of 28, and you take one pill every day so that you're getting a steady dose of the hormone.

Some women find progestin-only pills trickier to use than combination birth control pills (the Pill) because the minipill must be taken at the same time each day. (The combination pill, which contains both estrogen and progestin, is more forgiving.) The minipill is a good alternative for women who want to use oral contraceptives but who are breastfeeding or can't take estrogen for some other reason.

Progestin-only pills suppress ovulation in about half of the menstrual cycles of the women who take them. But they prevent conception primarily by causing changes in the cervical mucus. The mucus thickens, making it difficult for sperm to get through the cervix. So even if you do ovulate, sperm won't be able to make their way to your fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg. What's more, progestin may prevent pregnancy by thinning the lining of your uterus, making it less likely that an egg would implant there even if one did get fertilized.

The minipill contains less progestin than the combination pill, and the hormone's effect on your cervical mucus lasts only about 24 hours. That's why you have to be so careful about taking the minipill at the same time every day.

Anonymous, because of this, you were without any protection and at risk for becoming pregnant.

Because you had unprotected sex before you were back on the mini pill for 48 hours, using emergency contraception will reduce your risk of becoming pregnant. It can be used up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex, but it's most effective if used in the first 12 hours.

Consult your gynecologist about what to do, since you have already started taking the pills again.


July 8, 2016 - 8:34am
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