Patient :I normally take my birth control at 10 pm. I missed it last night and took it at 10:15 this morning. I have had sex with my boyfriend recently but we always pull out. What should I do since I missed the 12 hour window by 15 minutes?
I can understand you must be quite tensed about missing the pill. Missing one or two pills once in a while happens to most women on birth control pills. The good news is that there is no harm done.
There is no risk of an accidental pregnancy if you have just missed one pill of the pack. As you very rightly did, the last pill missed should be taken as soon as you remembered even if it means taking two pills on one day.Now continue with the rest of the pack as usual. No additional contraception is needed as you have not lost any protection given by the pills as a result of taking the pill 12 hours late.
If you happen to miss 2 consecutive pills, take the last pill missed immediately as soon as you remember as mentioned and continue the rest of the pack without any additional contraceptive need. However if you miss more than 2 consecutive pills then you will probably lose the contraceptive effects of the pill and shall need to use additional contraception (condoms, emergency contraception) for the next 7 days while using the pill.
These measures work in 99 percent of cases but there is always a chance of pill failure. Hence you must know that if despite the above measures if it so happens that you miss your periods or get pregnancy like symptoms it is recommended that you take a home pregnancy test before starting the next pack.
Hope this makes it simple for you to use the birth control pill without any stress in the future.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.