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Birth Control Health Center

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I Forgot to Take My Birth Control Pill. Now What?

If you just missed one, take it as soon as you remember. If you don't remember until the next day, go ahead and take 2 pills that day.

If you forget to take your pills for 2 days, take 2 pills the day you remember and 2 pills the next day. You will then be back on schedule.

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If you miss more than 2 birth control pills, call your doctor for instructions. You may need to take one pill daily until Sunday and then start a new pack. Or you might need to throw out the rest of the pill pack and start over with a new pack that same day.

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 birth control pill, you increase the chance of releasing an egg from your ovary.

But if you forget to take any of the last 7 (or last 4 of a 4-pill placebo pack or last 2 of a 2-pill placebo pack) out of the 28 day pills, you will not raise your chance of pregnancy, because these pills contain only inactive ingredients.

Some pill packs don’t have any placebo pills, so it's best to take all of your pills on schedule so you can stay on track.

If you miss your period and have forgotten to take one or more pills, get a pregnancy test. Many women do not have a period on low-dose birth control pills even if they don’t miss any pills. This is normal, so don’t be concerned -- but do take the test to be sure.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on May 17, 2014

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