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Before freaking out if you miss your pill and trying to self-diagnose on Google, read this to have a better understanding of what you should do after you’ve missed the pill. Giving yourself anxiety about it will only make you feel worse!

Even though the pill is reported as being 99 percent effective, the reality is that the pill has to be taken properly in order for that to be the case. This means taking it at the same time every single day.

The effectiveness of your birth control pill tends to crash if you accidentally miss a dose. This raises the likelihood of pregnancy, but it’s all dependent on where exactly you are in your cycle and what type of pill you’re on. 

If you’re on the pill that has progestin and estrogen, you’re at highest risk of unwanted pregnancy if you missed one pill during the first week of a new pack and had sex within the last 5 days. 

If you happen to miss a placebo or sugar pill, don’t lose your cool. Since they don’t include hormones, they shouldn’t affect your chances of preventing pregnancy. 

If you’re on progestin-only birth control and you happen to be more than three hours late taking it, it’s more likely for you to get pregnant. 

Generally speaking, progestin-only pill packs don’t include sugar pills, so be sure to follow precautions accordingly if you do forget to take any of your pills.

If you’re taking combined contraceptive pills, technically you don’t actually need backup birth control or emergency contraception unless you already missed more than one pill since combined oral contraceptives prevent ovulation. 

If you missed another pill during your last cycle or earlier in your current cycle and you’ve had unprotected sex, you might want to save yourself with emergency contraception like the Plan B.

If you haven’t had sex but missed more than one pill throughout this cycle or in between this cycle and the last one, use a condom the next time you have sex. 

Continue using extra protection until you’ve finally taken seven hormonal pills in a row. Or just play it safe and don’t have sex until you’ve reached this point.  

If you take progestin-only birth control and you missed your time to take it by more than three hours, you need to use backup birth control until you’ve taken the pill on time for two consecutive days.

If you’ve had sex after forgetting to take your pill, you may want to consider going for that emergency contraception option.

Once you realize you missed your regularly scheduled pill, take it right away. Then, take your next pill when you normally would.

Be aware that there are side effects to doubling up. The most common side effect of doubling up if you missed your birth control pill is nausea because of the high level of hormones in your body. Some women find that taking their pill with a snack or a meal decreases those chances.

If you’re still worried about whether or not you can remember to take the pill on a regular basis, try taking the pill after doing something you would normally do at the end of the day, like brushing your teeth. That first habit will be your cue to remember to take it. You can also set a reminder on your phone, or find an app that reminds you every day at the same time to take it. 

If you find yourself forgetting your pill (and are nervous about an unwanted pregnancy) on more than one occasion, you might want to think about getting on another method of birth control that is more low-maintenance, such as an IUD or the ring. It can lead to hormonal imbalance if you’re on the pill and don’t take it on the daily. That’s why it’s good to have a trustworthy OBGYN to help figure out what’s best for you based on your habits and preferences.

If you want to explore other options of birth control besides the pill, reach out to Dr. Ghea, a female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale who aims to make you feel at peace, not just with your body – but also with your mind. Based on your needs, she will list the pros and cons to each method you consider, and suggest which would fit best into your lifestyle. 

You can either call 954-473-2011 to make an appointment with her at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation OBGYN office, or fill out a request online.

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