What To Do If You Miss A Birth Control Pill

What to Do If You Miss a Birth Control Pill

Birth control pills should be taken every day, at the same time -- but how precise do you have to be? It depends on the type of pill: for some, you have a day or two to realise your mistake. For others, you only have a window of a few hours.

Photo by Sarah C.

The stricter one is the progestin-only pill, or "mini-pill." Those need to be taken within a 3-hour window each day. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember (and take the next one on schedule). Then make sure to use a backup method, like a condom, if you have sex in the next 48 hours after the missed pill.

Combination pills, with both estrogen and progesterone, are more forgiving. Planned Parenthood has a nifty chart that gives the specifics on what to do if you miss one of those. For a single missed pill, you can just take a double dose the next day. If you miss more than one dose, though (assuming it was a hormone pill and not one of the end-of-the-month inactive pills), you'll need to use a backup method for the next seven days, while continuing to take active pills to get back on schedule. Read more at the link below.

Birth Control Pills [Planned Parenthood via Vox]


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