Using the Pill

What To Do If You Forgot to Take Your Birth Control Pill

December 5, 2018

While the birth control pill has an extremely higher rate of success, in many instances where it does neglect, it’s almost always due to user error. In reality, being 12 hours late in taking your birth control pill increases your odds of becoming pregnant.

If you miss some of the first 21 pills on your package you want to use another birth control method, such as a condom, for another seven days.

Less Than 24 Hours

If you are less than 24 hours late taking your birth control pill, take your pill immediately and then restart your usual pill schedule. But should you remember to take your pill the following day and realize that you forgot it the day before, take both pills at the same moment.

Never take more than two pills in 1 day, unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.

Over 24 Hours

If it’s been over 24 hours since you took your last birth control pill, then take the last pill you missed and take the next tablet as scheduled. If you’ve missed more than one pill, throw off the ones you missed and take the rest of your oral contraceptive package as scheduled.

Throughout the Third Week

In the event you forget to take a birth control pill throughout the next week of your package, complete each of the oral contraceptives on your package and bypass the previous seven (non-hormonal) pills. Instead of taking those past seven tablets, instantly start a new birth control pill package, knowing you could not have another period till you’re finished with this new bundle.

Use another method of birth control until you’ve taken 7 tablets from the brand new oral contraceptive bundle.

Using Alternative Methods

As stated above, you need to use a condom for seven days after you’ve missed a pill. And if you’ve missed two or more pills in one cycle, then you need to use a condom for the rest of your cycle, until you end up back on track.

Using a condom and spermicide with a diaphragm or cervical cap during your fertile period can also be a lifesaver. It’s been demonstrated to result in nearly 100 percent contraceptive success.

It is also possible to call your doctor and ask for an emergency contraceptive if you understand you’ve had unprotected intercourse. You have 72 hours after unprotected intercourse for emergency contraceptives to work.