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Birth Control Pills: Missed or Skipped Periods - Topic Overview

It is not unusual for women who are taking hormone pills for birth control to have very light periods or no bleeding at all.

If you have not missed any pills, skip 1 period, yet have no other signs of early pregnancy, it is very unlikely that you are pregnant. Signs of early pregnancy include fatigue, breast tenderness or enlargement, nausea or vomiting, and increased urination. Call your doctor if you are worried. Start your next package of pills at the regular time.

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Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free women’s preventive services, including mammograms, birth control and well-woman visits. Learn more.

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If you miss 2 periods in a row, regardless of whether you have missed any pills, take a home pregnancy test. Call your doctor for advice about the test results. If you have not missed any pills, it is unlikely that you are pregnant. Do not stop taking your pills and risk a pregnancy unless instructed to do so by your doctor.

If you forget 1 or more pills and you miss a period, take a home pregnancy test as soon as possible. If the test is positive, stop taking your pills. Call your doctor for advice about the test results. If the test is negative, talk to your doctor about what to do about missed or skipped birth control pills.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 03, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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