5 doctors weighed in:

What happens if I forget to take the birth control pill?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lisa Jackson-moore
Obstetrics & Gynecology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Depends on week

The number of pills missed, the strength of the pill and the week in question all impact the management.
If you miss 1 - 2 pills of a 30 mcg ee formulation or 1 (active) pill of a 10-20 mcg ee pill, take 1 pill (active) as soon as you remember, then continue taking the pill pack. In cases when the missed pills are from the first week, a back-up method or emergency contraception may be needed.

In brief: Depends on week

The number of pills missed, the strength of the pill and the week in question all impact the management.
If you miss 1 - 2 pills of a 30 mcg ee formulation or 1 (active) pill of a 10-20 mcg ee pill, take 1 pill (active) as soon as you remember, then continue taking the pill pack. In cases when the missed pills are from the first week, a back-up method or emergency contraception may be needed.
Dr. Lisa Jackson-moore
Dr. Lisa Jackson-moore
Thank
Dr. Paula Hillard
Obstetrics & Gynecology

In brief: Possible pregnancy

You may need to consider another method of birth control that is easier to remember.A long- acting reversible contraceptive (larc) such as a iud or implant is as effective as sterilization, is easy to use, and long lasting (3-10 years).
With perfect use, the failure rate of the pill if <1%; in typical use, with missed pills, the failure rate is ~9%.Pregnancy is possible, as is spotting if miss pill.

In brief: Possible pregnancy

You may need to consider another method of birth control that is easier to remember.A long- acting reversible contraceptive (larc) such as a iud or implant is as effective as sterilization, is easy to use, and long lasting (3-10 years).
With perfect use, the failure rate of the pill if <1%; in typical use, with missed pills, the failure rate is ~9%.Pregnancy is possible, as is spotting if miss pill.
Dr. Paula Hillard
Dr. Paula Hillard
Thank
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