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Taking birth control late

By March 29, 2011 - 8:49am
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Hello, I have been on a combination birth control pill for two and a half years now. I took all my pills this month at the right time. However, saturday night I fell asleep and woke up in the middle of the night at 2a.m. and realized i hadent taken my pill. I was nine hourse late in taking it and took it right at 2am. Ive continued taking my pills at the correct time. I have intercourse with my boyfreind but he always uses the withdrawl method and never ejaculates inside me. Im just a little concerned about chance of pregnancy. My period isnt due till around tuesday of next week and Im already gettting anxious. Help!

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Ok thank you that makes much more sense now!! So if missing one pill by a few hours does not effect birth control than how come so many women claim to have gotten pregnant after missing just one pill? I think by what we've discussed my chances shouldnt be too high considering I took it only nine hours late and have been taking all the others correctly and we use the pull out method I believe I should be fine. Its just kind of scary to hear about all these women who say yes you can get pregnant after missing one pill it happened to me.

March 29, 2011 - 1:13pm
(reply to sunshine228)

I'm not sure who "all these women" are who you are referring to, but it is also about statistics.

The pill, when used consistently and correctly, called "perfect use", will result in less than 1 in 100 women becoming pregnancy each year. This is a 99% effectiveness rate.

What happens more frequently is what is called "typical use", and a women might miss a pill here-and-there throughout the month. The effectiveness rate of the "typical use" of the pill is 8 in 100 women becoming pregnant each year (in the U.S.).

The only 100% effective method for not becoming pregnant is not having sex...anything else does carry a risk for pregnancy (even if it is 99.9% effective).

April 10, 2011 - 7:31pm

Oh I had no idea that withdrawl was only 75% effective? my doctor told me that with typical use around 27 out of every 100 women get pregnany from this method. Interesting. But yes I was just very glad that I took it only nine hourse late because I feel like my hormone levels wouldnt have dipped low enough to release an egg or atleast I hope not.

March 29, 2011 - 10:28am
(reply to sunshine228)

That is what I was referring to, just in a quicker way, when I mentioned 75% with typical use. If you subtract 27 from 100, you get 73, which is how you get the percentage effectiveness rate (73%)...I was just rounding up to 75%. I think the number "27" sounds better, perhaps?

For perfect use (those couples who are intentionally using this method, with practice and routinely), the effectiveness rate does increase to 85% (all approximations). You might be closer to the "perfect use" category, as many couples use this method successfully as their only source of birth control. Other couples (27 of them, to be precise) out of every 100 couples would become pregnant each year who use this as their only source of birth control. Twenty-seven out of one-hundred couples per year is actually a high number, depending on the outcome!

March 29, 2011 - 11:37am

Thank you very much, im also wondering, is it actually considered a missed dose? all these sites say that 12 or 24 hours is considered missed but its hard to tell whats right. I would look at my birth control pamphlet instructions but i accidently threw them away a few days ago.

March 29, 2011 - 9:56am
(reply to sunshine228)

You can always find a copy of the pamphlet online (although, you will get another one with your new prescription).

A missed dose would be considered "missed" if you did not take it within 24 hours, for most brands of pills. The exact hours do not matter, as it is best to take it as soon as you remember...and missing one pill, then taking it before it is time to take your next pill, does not decrease its effectiveness significantly enough when you are taking the rest of your pills (before and after this pill) at the same time every day.

Worst-case scenario: you miss a dose, and don't remember it until it is time to take the next pill. You just "double-up" (take two at one time, or within an hour apart to prevent upset stomach), and use extra protection for the next 7 days. You are using the withdrawal method, which is another type of birth control (it is only about 75% effective when used alone, but combined with taking the pill it is a great as a "double" approach to birth control!)

March 29, 2011 - 10:22am

Missing one pill, and taking it as soon as you remember, does not increase your risk for pregnancy. So...you can stop feeling anxious!

March 29, 2011 - 9:19am
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