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I Forgot to Take My Birth Control Pill -- Now What Do I Do?

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Updated June 02, 2014

Birth Control Pills
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Question: I Forgot to Take My Birth Control Pill -- Now What Do I Do?
Answer: Being even 12 hours late taking your birth control pill may increase your chance of getting pregnant. If you miss any of the first 21 pills in your pack you need to use an alternate birth control method such as a condom for the next 7 days.

If you are less than 24 hours late taking your birth control pill take your pill immediately and resume your regular pill schedule. However, if you remember your pill the next day and see you forgot the day before take both pills at the same time. Never take more than 2 pills in one day, unless directed to do so by your health care provider.

If it's been over 24 hours since you took your last birth control pill, take the pill you missed and take the next pill on schedule. Throw away the missed birth control pills and take the rest of your oral contraceptive package as scheduled.

Should you forget to take a birth control pill during the third week of your pack, finish all the oral contraceptives in your pack and skip the last 7 (non-hormonal) pills. Immediately begin a new birth control pill pack, understanding that you may not have another period until you are finished with this new package. Use another method of birth control until you have taken 7 pills from the new oral contraceptive package.

How to Use Birth Control Effectively

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