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Birth Control Pills

What If I Forget to Take a Birth Control Pill? continued...

Any time you forget to take a pill, you must use another form of birth control until you finish the pill pack. When you forget to take a pill, you increase the chance of releasing an egg from your ovary. However, if you forget to take any of the last seven out of the 28 day pills you will not raise your chance of pregnancy since these are placebo pills. If you miss your period and have forgotten to take one or more active pills, get a pregnancy test. If you miss two periods even though you have taken all your pills on schedule, you should get a pregnancy test.

It is very important to take the mini pills (progestin only) at the exact same time each day. If you miss a pill or are more than three hours late for a pill you should take the pill as soon as you remember and use a backup method (such as a condom or spermicide) for the next 48 hours.

Are There Side Effects of Birth Control Pills?

Yes, there are side effects of birth control pills, although the majority are not serious. They include:

  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Sore or swollen breasts
  • Small amount of blood, or spotting, between periods
  • Lighter periods
  • Mood changes

The following side effects, easily remembered by the word "ACHES," are less common but more serious. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor immediately. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to an emergency room or urgent care center for evaluation. These symptoms may indicate a serious disorder, such as liver disease, gallbladder disease, stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, or heart disease. They include:

  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches (severe)
  • Eye problems (blurred vision)
  • Swelling and/or aching in the legs and thighs

Also, the FDA is investigating birth control pills that contain drospirenone, including YAZ and Yasmin. The decision is based on two new studies that suggest an increased risk for blood clots in women taking pills containing drospirenone, a man-made version of the hormone progesterone. Other brands containing drospirenone include Beyaz, Safyral, Gianvi, Loryna, Ocella, Syeda, and Zarah.  

WebMD Medical Reference

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