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Missed 3 Birth Control Pills in 2nd Week of the Pack

By Anonymous August 16, 2009 - 4:35pm
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Okay, this might be a little confusing but I'm going to explain it the best I can! I am on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo and have been for about 2 years now and I'm also a Sunday starter. Well this past week was my 2nd week of this pack and I forgot to take Tuesday's pill. I don't normally miss any, but my husband and I just moved and so it's been a crazy week! When I realized I missed Tuesday's pill I took it on Wednesday and didn't know I was supposed to double up, (I thought I was supposed to continue to take one pill everyday after that), and then I missed Wednesday's pill and Thursday's pill. When I realized this, I looked at the booklet and it said to double up so on Friday, I took Wednesday and Thursday's pill. I didn't take Friday's that day because it said not to take more than 2 in 1 day. So I was wondering, since I missed a couple of days in my pills, how likely is it that I could become pregnant?

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EmpowHER Guest

Thank you SOOO much, you really helped me!!!

August 16, 2009 - 9:05pm

Unfortunately, I can't tell you specifically if you are probably okay, but the good news is: you didn't have many hormone-free days (Tuesday & Thursday), and they were not back-to-back days, so this is potentially good that your hormone levels hopefully did not drop to the point where your body's naturally produced hormones kicked in to begin the process of ovulation...it's just not 100% guaranteed.

Even though you took a pill on the "wrong" day, as long as it's within the same week, it is fine (though, not ideal) as the hormones are most likely at the same dosage. It is more worrisome when your body goes without any hormones for 2 or more days in-a-row.

(Although, even perfect use of birth control pills may not protect against all pregnancies; there is less than 1% chance of pregnancy, but as the pill is not 100% effective--it's 99%---a pregnancy can still happen). So, knowing this, anytime you miss a pill, or 2, or 3, the chances increase for pregnancy. Good luck!

August 16, 2009 - 8:50pm
EmpowHER Guest

Oh, and since I didn't "double-up" on the pills correctly, do you think that puts me at a greater risk of becoming pregnant compared to if had done it correctly or do you think I'm probably okay?

August 16, 2009 - 8:39pm
EmpowHER Guest

Yes, you make complete sense! Yes, on Saturday I took Friday's pill and today I took Saturday's pill... So I guess I should take today's pill tonight then. I'm sorry for all the confusion!! And we haven't been using condoms so far, so we need to start!!

August 16, 2009 - 7:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

Okay, I understand what you're saying, but I had no idea I was supposed to take that days pill and then the first pill I missed. I have completely done it wrong!! I just took the pills I missed on the day I forgot. What do I do?

August 16, 2009 - 6:31pm
(reply to Anonymous)

You have two options of what you can do:

1. Either start over with a new pack of pills (you can read the instructions for what it says to do under the category "missed 3 or more pills"). It will tell you when to start the new pack.


2. You may be able to double-up on a few more pills. What pill did you take on Saturday?? Am I correct on your schedule:
Tuesday: missed pill
Wednesday: did not take Wednesday's pill; took Tuesday's missed pill
Thursday: missed Thursday's pill
Friday: took Wednesday's & Thursday's missed pills; did not take Friday's pill
Saturday: did you take Friday's pill and not take Saturday's pill???
If so, that would mean you are just a day behind on pills...correct?
Sunday (tonight): take Sunday's pill and Saturday's missed pill
Monday: you are back-on-track with one pill per day

Does this make sense?

Remember to use condoms for the next 7 days!

August 16, 2009 - 6:55pm

I think you explained it well--let me answer the "how to double up" first, because I think you can still correct the mistake.

You understood the "doubling-up" concept, but that means you double up using that day's pill plus the first one that you missed. So, for example, Friday: you should have taken Friday's pill plus Wednesday's pill. Then, Saturday: you take Saturday's pill plus Thursday's pill. Then, Sunday: you are back to one pill-a-day. Does that make sense? Never purposefully skip the same-day pill (if it's Saturday; take Saturday's. If it's Friday, take Friday's pill).

If I understand correctly, then you can still double-up (today is Sunday) and take Sunday's pill as usual plus Friday's missed pill (I assume Saturday you only took one?).

When you miss pills, it is important to use alternative form of birth control (condom) for the next 7 days. The pill is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when used consistently and correctly every time ("perfect use"), and when pills are missed, this effectiveness rate drops to 87% or below.

We can't tell you how likely it is that you could become pregnant, but just that the chances increase from less than 1% to perhaps 12% in that month (these are approximations for a general population, and do not take into account your specific cycle, days of pills missed, etc.).

August 16, 2009 - 5:01pm
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