Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Could missing a pill mean I could be pregnant?"

ZocdocAnswersCould missing a pill mean I could be pregnant?


I am taking Cryselle-28 and have been for over a year with no problems. I am a Sunday starter, and last week Sunday 12/23, which is when I started a new pack, I forgot to take my pill. I engaged in unprotected sex on Monday 12/24 and didn't remember to take the pill until after.


As you have probably heard, missing a pill does increase your chances of getting pregnant, but to find out for sure, you should book an appointment with your primary care physician. The chances of you getting pregnant while taking the birth control pill every day is about 1% per year. This is in an ideal situation where you take it at the same time every day, and you are on no other medications that might reduce its effectiveness. When you miss a pill, its effectiveness drops by about 30% (this is an estimate). This means that while you're less likely to get pregnant during a period when you miss one pill, you are more likely than if you did not forget. Another consideration is when you had intercourse relative to when you would likely ovulate. It is beyond the scope of this answer, but your timing would not likely result in pregnancy, but it has before. You are obviously worried about this. For this reason I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. At this point two weeks after intercourse a pregnancy test would be turning positive. If it is negative, then you can just resume your normal routine. In the future, contact your doctor right after the incident. Plan B and other "morning after pills" are effective and can insure that you don't get pregnant even though you missed a pill.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.