ZocdocAnswersI have been missing birth control pills. Should I act as if I missed two pills and take two today and two tomorrow so that I am back on track?

Question

I have been missing birth control pills. Should I act as if I missed two pills and take two today and two tomorrow so that I am back on track?

I just started a new pack of birth control last Sunday and I missed Thursday's pill. On Friday, I took Thursdays pill and mistakingly forgot to take Friday's as well. On Saturday, I forgot to take the next pill. I am now on Sunday and have no idea what to do. Looking at the pack, it says I need to take Friday and Saturdays pill. Should I act as if I missed two pills and take two today and two tomorrow so that I am back on track?

Answer

In general, you're right that if you miss one pill you should take two pills the next day and do not need extra protection, however it's important to speak with your doctor about your concern. The guidelines for what to do if you miss two pills depends on which week of the pack you're in. Since you're in the first week, generally what's advised after missing two pills is to take two pills the next two days (to use up the pills you missed) and then continue to take a pill daily. You should, however, not engage in sexual activity or use an alternate form of protection (condoms) for the next seven days. If you have had sexual intercourse in the 5-7 days prior to missing the pills, you may need emergency contraception, and should talk to your doctor about that. In your case it's a little confusing, but I would treat this as missing two pills, which means you should double up AND use an additional form of contraception. Your chances of pregnancy are generally highest in the first week after your period since this is when you would naturally ovulate. If you are having trouble remembering to take your birth control, you could try leaving it somewhere you will see it at a reliable time (e.g. when you brush your teeth at night); many people find it helpful to set an alarm on their phones as well. Again, it is also a good idea to discuss any questions you may have with your birth control with your doctor and to discuss alternate methods of birth control that might be more reliable for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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