What To Do If You Miss A Birth Control Pill?

The unintended pregnancies happen owing to missing a birth control pill. To get the optimum effect of birth control pills following a regular schedule and taking the pills at the same time, everyday is essential. So, missing one or two tablets may result in egg release (ovulation) followed by fertilization and pregnancy. What to do if you miss a birth control pill? Read the below piece of information to get an insight to this.

What To Do If You Miss A Birth Control Pill?

what to do if you miss a birth control pill

About 1 to 2 % of the pregnancies every year are due to missing pills. It comes up to 1 to 2 pregnancies for every 100 women. If the pills are regularly consumed, there are chances of failure and this rate stands about 5% per year or 5 pregnancies in every 100 women for a year of usage.

Also, the other parameters like the period when you are missing your pill during the cycle and if you are missing it in a row. Additionally, if you have unprotected sex during this period the chances of getting expectant climbs. You are posed to high risk due to ovulation whenever the period between consumption of pills exceeds seven days. Or if you are consuming inactive pills it may result in high risk. During the first to the third week if you miss the pill or delay taking the tablet then there are higher chances of ending up pregnant.

If you are confused regarding the pill consumption, then abstain from sex or use alternate methods to birth control. Review the specific patient package accompanying the birth control tablet pack and contact your doctor if you miss the specific period to take the tablet. Or you may also take the pills until you contact your doctor.

However, few general guidelines are available if you are using the traditional method for 21 or 28 days in combination with the pills. The tablets may include progestin pills or Lybrel. In spite of following the below instructions, if you missed the pill and had unprotected sex then you probably end up carrying.

Always use a backup birth control technique, say, for instance, use condoms. Alternatively, do not have sex for the next seven days after you skip your pill. You can also use an emergency contraceptive as per the advice of your doctor. Some of the emergency contraceptives include Ella, Plan B One-Step, or Next Choice up to next five days after you miss your pill. You can also use a copper intrauterine device as an emergency birth control device within the next five days of unprotected sex. You must take your doctor’s aid in devising an alternative method.

When you forget the pill consistently and regularly, speak to your doctor regarding the alternative methods available. There are other birth control options where you do not need to remember on the daily basis. In case if you are suffering from vomiting or diarrhea the pills may not work for you as your body cannot absorb the pills adequately. In such case, you can use a backup method (like condoms) until you contact your doctor.

Check with your medical practitioner before you are about to change any of the pills. Some of the pills may include oxcarbazepine, griseofulvin, bosentan, rifampin, and topiramate. When you start off a new medication, check with your doctor and undergo a drug interaction screening test every time. Remember the birth control pills do not serve you as protection against sexually transmitted diseases. In order to prevent those diseases, condoms can be used.

How Do Birth Control Tablets Work?

Most of the people are pretty confused with the working of these pills. The pills are made out of hormones and hormones indeed are prepared by our body itself. These hormones control the body function. Some of the pills have both the hormones namely the progestin and estrogen. These pills are termed as combination pills. Some of the pills contain progestin only. The majority of the women consume the combo pills. The hormones present in tablets prevent the egg from leaving the ovaries and hence do not meet the sperm to get into fertilization state. Also, the pills make the cervical mucus thicker making it hard for the sperm to traverse the path till egg to fertilize it.

How Efficient Are The Pills?

While you are embracing birth control pills to keep away from unwanted pregnancy, then it is essential for you to know how efficiently the method works. If consumed on a daily basis the combination pill gives out the best results. In case, if you are consuming only the progestin-only tablets then it is a prerequisite for you to consume the pill at the same time every day. The chances of getting pregnant remain 1 out of 100 women though the pills are consumed every day as per the schedule. Around 9 in 100 women end up pregnant every year owing to missing pills. For obese women, the pills may not be effective. You can consult your doctor to find out how well the pill can help you.

Consuming some of the other medicines along with the birth control pills may counteract the effect of these pills. Those medicines that dilute the effect of birth control pills are:

  • Rifampin: It is antibiotic and other antibiotics do not make your desired pill less effective.
  • Griseofulvin: These pills do not affect the impact of birth control pills.
  • Some anti-seizure drugs
  • St. John’s wort
  • Few HIV medicines

How Safe Are These Pills?

No medication is risk-free. Though most of the women use pills and embrace it to be safe. But while adopting any of the methods to be safe, make sure you pick the one with least side effects. There are certain conditions accounting to serious concerns. Due to these conditions the usage of the pills does not serve your purpose. Discuss the concern with your doctor and figure out the best means to keep away from unwanted pregnancy. Do not resort to any means of birth control if you think you are pregnant or been suffering from breast cancer.

You must not consume the combination pill if:

  • You are in prolonged bed rest
  • You are prone to migraine accompanied by aura
  • You had treated in the past for vein inflammation or blood clots
  • You had heart stroke, angina, attack, or any other serious heart concerns
  • Serious valve problems
  • Lupus or other concerns
  • The age factor also counts, if you are older than 30 years and if you are used to smoking, then you are at higher risk.
  • High cholesterol also may pose threat

The serious problems have few warning signs. Some of them include:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • New lump in breast
  • Soreness with ache in the leg
  • Before getting a bad headache seeing bright flashing zigzag lines
  • Severe pain in chest or abdomen
  • You may experience a different headache worse than the usual
  • Irregular periods or skipping periods
  • Trouble in breathing
  • Yellowing of eyes or skin

Some of the recent studies also have claimed that the pill may promote the development of breast cancer. However, it has minimal effects. You can also go through the data on the pack of pills to know the potential side effects.

How The Pills Are Beneficial?

Taking pills do not prevent you from having sex. It is one of the safe, simple, and convenient methods of birth control. Most of the women feel they have improved sex experience as they can act spontaneously. Also, some consume these pills for the other benefits offered by the pill. The pills may be progestin-only or the combination. The other benefits the pills offer are:

  • Make the periods lighter
  • Reduce menstrual cramps
  • Prevents Pelvic inflammatory disease as it offers protection and when pelvic inflammatory disease left untreated results in infertility.

In case of combination pills, you may reap the below benefits

  • Protection against acne
  • Prevents breast growth that is not cancer
  • Reduce the chances of Ectopic pregnancy
  • Prevents anemia due to iron deficiency
  • Keeps away cysts in ovaries and breasts
  • The premenstrual symptoms like depression and headache will be minimal.
  • The pills can also keep your irregular or heavy periods in check
  • Bad cramps can also be avoided

Additionally, the combination pills can also control the time interval between periods and the frequency of periods. Some of the pills are specially made to have only a few periods throughout the year. The other pills are used on a regular basis to keep away from periods. Along with the birth control pills, women take these pills each on every day to prevent periods. It is pretty normal for a woman to have bleeding or spotting in the first six months. And gradually it reduces after those initial couple of months. Few stop having bleeding. This phenomenon is absolutely normal and does not harm the body. But, if you are suspicious about your pregnancy then go for a test.

How To Start The Birth Control Pills?

The procedure for consuming these pills depends on the tablets you are up to consume. If you are looking for combination pills, then most of them come in 21 or 28-day packs. Both types of pills contain about 21 active pills having hormones while remaining 7 pills are the reminder pills and do not have hormones in them. Few combination pills have components that are active only for few months. These are specially designed for the purpose of reducing the number of periods for women in a year. You can also take pills from 21 or 28-day pack to reduce the frequency of periods.

If you are choosing combination pills, then you can expect your period in the fourth week of the month. And you probably expected to get your periods in the fourth week provided you do not consume any of the combination pills to delay the menstruation further. The Progestin-only pills are available only in 28-day pack. All of the pills are active. With these pills you probably may:

  1. Get period in the fourth week
  2. Do not get periods
  3. Have bleeding at different points of time during the whole month

The pills contain hormones that can prevent pregnancy the entire month including the fourth month.

Some Takeaways While Using The Birth Control Pills

  • Remember to take the pills at the same time every day to get the fullest out of it. While you are fixing a part of the day, make sure you can remember that time of day easily. You may find it easy to keep the pills attached to your routine activities say, for instance, soon after brushing your teeth or after your dinner. You can also set up alarms.
  • A skipped period does not always signify pregnancy. Though, the chances of getting pregnant remain low, go for a pregnancy test if you have missed your two periods consequently.
  • Do not hesitate to contact your doctor at any stage. You can talk to them before proceeding further and ask if there are any questions.
  • There are slight chances of getting pregnant though you have consumed pills. However, taking these pills during the early stage of pregnancy may account for birth defects. In case, if you are pregnant though using the progestin-only pills, there are higher chances of ending up with ectopic pregnancy.
  • In case, you wish to become pregnant then stop consuming these pills. There are chances of getting conceived soon after stopping pills. Generally, your period may come back to you as normal after one or two months once you stop it.

Starting Pills Soon After Pregnancy

Getting pregnant shortly after pregnancy may be a major concern for most of the women. And most of them choose pills. Once after the completion of three weeks of delivery you can start with the combination pills. Wait at least for six weeks if you are nursing or you have a high risk of blood clots.

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