Delayed COC pill and pregnancy protection


Q: Hi, I missed a COC pill at the end of my second week/beginning of third week and took it about 13hrs after I was meant to. Sine then I have been taking pills regularly and finished the pack. My pill-free week will start tomorrow.
I am not sure whether I am still protected for pregnancy. Should I skip the pill free week and start a new pack or am I protected during the pill free week as I have taken 7 pills since the delayed one? Thank you for your help!


A:   Birth control pills protect from unwanted pregnancy only when take in recommended cycles, regularly, and under expert medical supervision. Irregular use may predispose one to an unwanted pregnancy, if intercourse occurs in one's fertile period (time around ovulation). For ladies with irregular periods the date of egg release is variable making prediction of fertility almost impossible. Getting a home pregnancy test done after a missed period usually confirms or negates pregnancy, albeit after a couple of repeat tests at serial intervals, in some.

The fertile period of a woman who is not on pills is determined by analyzing her menstrual cycle with an ovulation calculator or fertility chart. Normally, the menstrual cycle is a 28 day cycle. During the 14th day after a period, the ovum is released. This process is called ovulation and the days 12 to 16 days after a period are said to be a woman’s most fertile period. Pills prevent ovulation and thus averts pregnancy. An occasional delayed pill should not result in failure usually, but this is strongly discouraged, as it may affect the efficacy of the pill in some or change the bleeding pattern.
In your case a Home Pregnancy Test needs to be done if periods are delayed as an added precaution. Although this home pregnancy test may be helpful to you in confirmation or negation of pregnancy, a physician visit is clearly warranted for a complete personalized solution. Please inform your doctor about the missed pill and delayed ingestion.

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