Having unprotected sex after missing a birth control pill can be of great concern to those who are not trying to father a child. However, pregnancy is unlikely in such a case as long as you take a contraceptive pill within 24 hours. Here are a few tips that can help you deal with the tricky situation.
The first step is to determine what kind of birth control pill you are taking. Then you need to plan your next step accordingly.
According to Healthline, taking combined birth control pills protects you from pregnancy because they keep a steady stream of medication in your system. Combination pills are pills that contain estrogen and progestin, a synthetic form of progesterone. The first three weeks of a pack are active and the last week of a pack are placebo pills. The active pills, when taken consistently, maintain the therapeutic drug level needed to prevent ovulation. Healthline reports that a combination pill is not considered missed if it has passed less than 24 hours. Just take your missed pill and you can continue your normal routine.
This hormonal birth control comes with four to seven days of inactive pills. The placebo pills contain no hormones and they are included in the package to help you maintain the habit of taking the pill while you have your period. If you forget one of the placebo pills, just throw it away and take the next pill as scheduled.
Progestogen Only Pill
Those who take a progestin-only pill have a smaller window of protection — just three hours. It is recommended that you go to the pharmacy or clinic for emergency contraception, depending on when you took your last pill. If you take your pill three or more hours later than you normally take and have had unprotected sex, you could become pregnant. To get out of this situation, Healthline advises you to take the morning after pill from a pharmacist.
It is also recommended that if you accidentally miss a dose of your birth control pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you don’t realize it until it’s time for your next dose, take both pills at the same time, Insider suggests.
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