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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Ugh, BC Pills (and hello!)

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Author Topic: Ugh, BC Pills (and hello!)
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 17924

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Long time, no see! I used to be a moderator some time ago. I'm so happy to see how will the site is doing, I've been watching from afar as I had to leave for personal reasons.

I've been wracking my head about my birth control...this just proves even moderators don't know it all!

I'm at a wedding in FL, have been since Thursday. With all the commotion and stress of flying, being a bridesmaid, rehearsals and late nights, I completely forgot to take my BC both Friday and Saturday night. I'm a Sunday starter, and today would be the start of my period/placebo week.

I just took my Saturday pill, technically it is late. Fridays was missed entirely.

I'm now off for my placebo week: in terms of pregnancy risks (I have not had sex while down in FL, but will be back to VT tomorrow...) I will use condoms anyway just to be safe, but should I give myself a full 7 days and then start the new pack, or go five days, since i basically almost missed two pills, and start a new pack? Along with that, is there really a risk if condoms aren't used once I'm home?

I remember answering these types of questions: as a birth control user, I can see where it can be confusing...situations are so specific sometimes! Hope all is well, things look great!

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Posts: 3987 | From: Greater Burlington Area, Vermont | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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How lovely to "meet" someone new (for me! [Smile] ) from Scarleteen's history.

Do you have the information leaflet that came with your pill pack? Those usually suggest what you should do if you miss a pill/s. If you don't, you can try internet searching for your particular pill's information, as it's usually available.

I am used to hearing advice to either continue on the usual pill schedule or to skip the placebos entirely, usually also using a back-up method for both of those. I haven't heard of skipping some of the placebos. Whatever your own specific pill advises would be the best option, unless your doctor has given you other instructions.

Your pill information will likely also have something to say about whether and how much a missed pill may impact your contraceptive coverage. In general, though, if you don't want to become pregnant, it's safest to figure that a missed pill means you haven't used the method as it was supposed to be used and so your contraception coverage might be affected, so you should use a back-up now and for the first seven days of your next pack. It's impossible to estimate how much your or anyone's protection from pregnancy would be affected, as that would be very individual and depend on a host of other things. For most people, using a back-up method for a short amount of time will also be way less of a big deal than any extra possibility of an unintended pregnancy.

The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Nice to "meet" you, too, Redskies!

I'll try and make this as non-confusing as possible, since I myself am a bit confused.

From the manufacturer's website:

"If you miss two "active" pills in a row in week three, or if you miss three pills in a row during any of the first 3 weeks, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new one the same day if you are a Day 1 starter. If you are a Sunday starter, keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new one that day."

Technically, I didn't miss two active pills in week three. I missed one. I took the second one late. But I went based on this since I do not want to become pregnant.

According to the above paragraph, I should take a pill (doesn't specify active or placebo) every day until Sunday. That's today. It then says that I should now throw out the rest of the pack and start a brand new one right away, which would mean I would take the first pill of a new pack tonight around 9PM, when I normally take them, I do not have a new pack, but I could take the missed Friday pill as my first pill from the new pack and then break into the new pack tomorrow when I get home.

What the instructions do not specify is whether or not I need back-up for 7 days, and when the back-up would start if it is needed...there is no mention whatsoever. When in doubt, safer is better, but in my case it's very helpful to know since this is really the only BC option for me currently: my partner has a latex allergy and alternative condom choices have not worked well for us for a variety of reasons. The options for BC don't stop at condoms, obviously, but other options aren't available easily or quickly where I am. Worse comes to worse, we just don't have sex for a week!

I have seen general recommendations say that if you miss pills at the END of your active pills, you risk pregnancy because there is an extended length of time between your last active pill and your first active pill of a new pack, which can trigger ovulation.

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Posts: 3987 | From: Greater Burlington Area, Vermont | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Hey, Abbie! *waves*

Since you don't have a new pack with you to start right away instead of having a placebo week, you'd probably be just fine taking the placebo week, starting a new pack of pills on time and then using a backup method from now until the end of the first week at least of that new pack (or just not having sex until then if non-latex options don't really work for your partner). You didn't miss more than one pill, so you probably still have some protection, but it's better to err on the side of caution. It sounds like you're pretty busy what with being in a wedding and all, but if you can get to a pharmacy, it might be helpful to discuss this with a pharmacist in person, too.

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5799 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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(Abbie, it is so great to see you! [Smile] )

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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