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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Missed more than one birth control pill

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Author Topic: Missed more than one birth control pill
blueberry
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Hi! I'm sure there must have been a ton of questions like this before, but I couldn't find a specific answer for my situation so I thought I'd ask.

I'm using birth control pills (Yaz) and this morning I noticed I'd missed taking my pills for three days (I usually take them in the evening), from the first week of the cycle. On the instructions that came with the pack it only says I should see a doctor, but I don't think I could get an appointment that soon. I thought I'd back up with condoms if I have sex in the next month, and maybe take a pregnancy test, but is there anything else I need to be worried about? Should I keep on taking the rest of the pack as normal? I've never missed more than one pill before, don't know what I was thinking.

I also thought about starting to take my pills in the morning instead, to make it easier to remember. When would the best time to make that change be?

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Heather
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Generally, what's advised when you miss three pills or more is that:
• You stop taking your pills, and start your placebo week (figuring you started it with the first missed pill: IOW, in your case, you have four more no-pill days left)
• Then, after that week, you start a new pack
• You back up from now through your next pill pack (until you get to the next pack AFTER that one)

Per making a change in when you take them, you could go ahead and start that in a few days when you start your next pack.

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blueberry
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Okay! But what if I took two of those missed pills in the morning, can I still start the placebo week right now? (I realize that might not have been the best idea, but I wasn't sure of what to do and I thought you could only go straight to the placebo week later in the cycle).

When you say I have four more no-pill days left, do you mean out of seven days in total? The ones I'm using only have four no-pill days in a cycle.

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Heather
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Really, once you have missed three or more pills, the reason just starting over is suggested is because at that point, the rest of that cycle is likely to be screwed up no matter what you do. That's why pill instructions only talk about making up missed pills when it's two pills or less.

Do your pill instructions say anything about missing pills besides seeing your doctor? If not, how about you instead just call your prescribing physician and ask them what to do?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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blueberry
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Well, I guess that makes sense.

This is what it says, if you've only missed one pill:

- forgotten pill between day 1 to 7: take the pill as soon as you remember and keep taking the rest of the pills in the pack as normal, back up for a week. Risk for pregnancy if you've had sex the week before

- day 8 to 14: take the pill as soon as you remember, keep on as normal

- day 15 to 24: keep on as normal, but skip the placebo week and start with the next pack, OR go straight to the placebo week (what you suggested)

I got the prescription from a doctor at my student healthcare center, but I can't call her directly and she's not specialized in any of that so I'm not sure she can help. I could have a go and call them tomorrow though, but then it will be another 24 hours before I know if I should take any pills or not.

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Heather
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What's your pill brand? I can check and see if I can find any extra info to suggest that missing 3 or more pills is any different with this pill than with others.

Missing one pill of any brand is just a totally different situation than missing 3 or more, so what it says about one doesn't help us here.

(Unless we find something different, though, I'd stick with what I first suggested here, save that if your placebo period is 4 days instead of 7, then you take 4 days instead of 7 now.)

[ 04-02-2013, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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blueberry
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I use Yaz, from Bayer.

I found this on the web: http://labeling.bayerhealthcare.com/html/products/pi/fhc/YAZ_PI.pdf?WT.mc_id=www.berlex.com

there's some instructions on page 27 but I'm not sure what they mean by Day 1 starter and Sunday starter.

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Heather
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Okay: here's the translation of what the instructions for your specific pill and missing 3 or more pills mean per your start time:

If you miss three active pills in a row in Week 1, 2, or 3, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack on the same day if you are a Day 1 starter: in other words, if when you initially started the pill, you did so on the first day of your menstrual period.

If you are a Sunday starter -- if you started on the first Sunday after a menstrual period -- keep taking a pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack that day (and that'd mean NOT taking any intentional placebo time at all).

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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blueberry
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Ah, all right. I'll do what it says for Day 1 starters, then! Do you think it matters if I start right now or tomorrow morning, since I wanted to change to taking my pills in the morning and it's evening now?

Should I back up for a whole month, or just seven days as it says in the instructions?

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Heather
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No, I don't think it matters.

Personally, my advice with that many missed pills is to back up for a month to play it safe. Mind, I think backing up, always, is the best idea. Not just for STI protection the pill can't give you, but you can see how easy it would be to have had a big risk with a sitch like this when you did miss a bunch of pills, and how great it'd be to have already backed up so you didn't have to worry about it.

[ 04-02-2013, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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blueberry
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Hmm. I see what you mean, but the reason I started with the pill was because I didn't want to have to use condoms all the time, it just felt like a huge pressure and I couldn't relax about having sex. I felt I could be more responsible with something like the pill. Ideally, I wouldn't want to use that either because of the side effects and how it affects the environment, but I haven't found anything I think would suit me better yet and I was much more worried back when we only used condoms (plus the sex was quite bad).

As for STIs, since I'm in a monogamous relationship I don't suppose I'm at a high risk of getting one of those (I asked about this before, if you remember, and I also talked to a healthcare provider about it). But if I were to have sex with someone new, I would of course use a condom.

I've always wondered, though: if I were to get pregnant right now, without knowing it, and kept on taking the pills -- would the fertilized egg cell be able to survive, in those conditions? Could that turn into a normal baby?

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Heather
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There's no data that has ever found taking oral contraceptives while in early pregnancy has detrimental effects to a fetus or a pregnant person.

In other words, if a pregnancy occurs while someone is on the pill, then yes, that pregnancy typically develops as usual.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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blueberry
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Okay, that's good to know.

Thank you so very much for all the help! [Smile] I will start a new pack of pills tomorrow morning, and then back up for the rest of the month as you said.

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