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What should you do if you accidentally miss a birth control pill?

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If you accidentally miss one pill, there’s probably no need to worry. Just take it as soon as you remember and continue taking your next pill at the regular time. If it’s a mini-pill and it’s been more than 3 hours, use a backup method of contraception.

If you’re taking combined pills and miss two or more hormone pills, you should call your doctor. What you should do next will depend on what kind of pill you’re on, so she can advise you. No matter what, you should use a backup method of birth control like a condom since your chances of getting pregnant are much higher after you miss two or more pills.

SOURCES:

CDC: “Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods,” “Contraceptive Effectiveness.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Birth Control Pill Fact Sheet.”

HealthyWomen.org: “How to Effectively Use Your Birth Control Pills.”

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: “Using Birth Control Pills Regularly for Successful Contraception.”

MedlinePlus: “Estrogen and Progestin (Oral Contraceptives).”

Bedsider.org: “Which medications can mess with birth control?” 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on October 12, 2016

SOURCES:

CDC: “Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods,” “Contraceptive Effectiveness.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Birth Control Pill Fact Sheet.”

HealthyWomen.org: “How to Effectively Use Your Birth Control Pills.”

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: “Using Birth Control Pills Regularly for Successful Contraception.”

MedlinePlus: “Estrogen and Progestin (Oral Contraceptives).”

Bedsider.org: “Which medications can mess with birth control?” 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on October 12, 2016

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Does improper storage cause birth control pills to fail?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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