“I Forgot to Take My Birth Control. Now What?”

what to do if you forget birth control

The success of birth control pills is largely based upon whether or not you remember to take them every day. But life happens, and you get busy. You may go several days and completely forget to take your little white pills.

What happens then?

Missing 1 or 2 Days of Birth Control

If you miss one day, doctors usually recommend that you take your next dose as soon as you remember. This means you may end up taking two pills in one day in order to get back on track. No big deal. This same rule generally applies for missing two days as well.

MIssing 3 or More Days of Birth Control

If you miss more than two days in a row, your hormones can begin to change and things can get tricky. The primary purpose of birth control pills is to prevent ovulation by feeding your body synthetic hormones.

M.D. Alyssa Dweck explains:

These synthetic hormones stabilize your natural hormones and prevent the peak of estrogen that would otherwise signal your body to ovulate, or release eggs from the ovaries to be fertilized. But skipping one pill and skipping several are two very different matters.

Once you’ve missed several days, your natural hormones start to take over and ovulation can occur. At this point, you need to use another form of birth control (like condoms) to prevent pregnancy while you get back on track with your pills.

Birth control prescriptions can work in different ways, so it’s important to talk to your gynecologist about a specific plan that will be most effective for you.

If you’ve missed a dose or more of your birth control, call and talk to our dedicated staff at All About Women. We’ll help you get back on track and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Future Reading:

Beyond Birth Control: Other Benefits of Oral Contraceptives

Choosing a Birth Control Method That’s Right For You