What should I do if I miss a pill

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If you miss pills you could get pregnant.

If you forget 1 or 2 pills, take 1 pill as soon as you remember. Then take the next pill at the regular time. This may mean that you take 2 pills in one day.

If you forget to take 3 pills, 3 days in a row, take 1 pill right away. Then take 1 pill each day at the regular time.

If you are using a 28-day packet of pills, take only the hormone pills and skip the sugar pills, then start taking hormone pills from a new packet. If you are using a 21-day packet, start a new packet as soon as you finish the one you are taking now. Use condoms (or do not have sex) until you have taken a pill for 7 days in a row.

If you forget to take more than 3 pills, stop taking the pills and wait for your next monthly bleeding. Use condoms (or do not have sex) for the rest of your cycle. Then start a new packet.

Late or missed pills may cause some bleeding, like a very light monthly bleeding.

If you have trouble remembering to take pills, try taking a pill when you do a daily task, like preparing the evening meal. Or take the pill when you see the sun go down or before you sleep. Keep the packet where you can see it every day. If you still forget to take your pills often (more than once a month), think about changing to a different method of birth control.

If you vomit within 3 hours after taking your pill or have severe diarrhea, your birth control pill will not stay in your body long enough to work well. Use condoms, or do not have sex, until you are well and have taken a pill each day for 7 days.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en020427