Missed Birth Control Pills

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Boxed Warning

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from hormonal contraceptive use. This risk increases with age, with heavy smoking (15 or more cigarettes per day), and in women over 35 years of age. Women who use hormonal contraceptives are strongly advised not to smoke.

Click here for additional Important Safety Information

    What If I Miss a Birth Control Pill?


    It's important to take your pills every day at the same time each day for the Pill to be most effective. But if something happens and you forget to take one or more pills, don't panic. Just use the chart and pill pack visual below to figure out what to do.
     

     

    white, light blue,
    or dark blue
    “active” pill
    white or light blue
    “active” pills in a row (week 1 or week 2)
    dark blue “active”
    pills in a row
    (week 3)
    or more white, light blue, or dark blue “active” pills in a row
    An inactive “green” pill
    Take it as soon as you
    remember and take the
    next pill at your regular
    time. (You may have to
    take 2 pills in 1 day)

    Take 2 pills the day you
    remember and 2 pills the
    next day. Then take 1 pill
    a day until you finish the
    pack.

    Sunday Starters:
    Take 1 pill a day until
    Sunday. Then throw
    away the pack and start
    a new one.

    Day 1 Starters:
    Throw away the old pack
    and start a new pack
    immediately.*

    Sunday Starters:
    Take 1 pill a day until
    Sunday. Then throw away
    the pack and start a new
    one.

    Day 1 Starters:
    Throw away the old pack
    and start a new pack
    immediately.

    Throw away the pills you
    missed. Keep taking 1
    pill a day until the pack is
    empty.
    No backup birth control
    method is needed.




    You MUST use a backup
    birth control method
    during the next 7 days.



    You MUST use a backup
    birth control method
    during the next 7 days.








    You MUST use a
    backup birth control
    method during the next
    7 days.







    No backup birth control
    method is needed.

    The 28-pill pack contains 21 "active" pills (7 each of white, light blue and dark blue) that contain hormones that you take for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week of “inactive” pills (green) that don't contain hormones.



    Week 1: White “active” pills
    Week 2: Light blue “active” pills
    Week 3: Dark blue “active” pills
    Week 4: Green “inactive” pills

     
     
    *You may not have your period this month. If you miss your period 2 months in a row, call your healthcare professional—you might be pregnant.

     

    Miss 2 Pills? Use Backup

    It's important to note that if you miss 2 or more “active” pills in a row, you could become pregnant if you have sex in the next 7 days. So you need to use a backup method of birth control, such as condoms or spermicide.

     

    Still Not Sure?

    If you're still uncertain about what to do about pills you missed, use a backup birth control method (such as condoms or spermicide) and keep taking one “active” pill each day until you can speak with your healthcare professional.

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