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What if I get sick after taking my birth control pill?

What if I get sick after taking my birth control pill? Image

Having an upset stomach and being stuck in the bathroom is the worst, and it’s even worse when you realize you might not be absorbing your birth control pill at all. If you can’t keep anything down, or in, will you be at risk of getting pregnant? Here’s what you need to know:

If you’re taking a combination birth control pill (estrogen + progestin):

  • If you vomit more than 2 hours after taking an active birth control pill, you are still protected from pregnancy.
  • If you vomit within 2 hours of taking an active pill, treat it as a missed pill and take another active pill right away. As long as you don’t throw up again, you are still protected from pregnancy.
  • If you vomit after taking an inactive pill, don’t worry! You are still protected from pregnancy.
  • If you have ongoing vomiting or diarrhea (3 or more watery stools in 24 hours) lasting more than 24 hours, your protection from pregnancy may be reduced. If you can, keep taking your pills at the normal time each day, but you should also use a backup method (like a condom) while you’re ill and for 7 days after your vomiting or diarrhea has stopped.
  • If you’re still not sure what to do if you’re sick after taking a pill, keep taking your pill at the normal time each day and use a backup method until you can message with your Nurx doctor, or another healthcare provider.

If you’re taking a progestin-only birth control pill:

  • If you vomit more than 2 hours after taking your progestin-only pill, you are still protected from pregnancy.
  • If you vomit within 2 hours of taking your pill, take another pill right away. If you don’t take a replacement pill within 3 hours of your normal time, use a backup method for the next 48 hours.
  • If you have ongoing vomiting or diarrhea (3 or more watery stools in 24 hours) lasting more than 24 hours, your protection from pregnancy may be reduced. If you can, keep taking your pills at the normal time each day, but you also should use a backup method while you’re ill and for 2 days after vomiting or diarrhea has stopped.
  • If you are still not sure what to do if you’re sick after taking a pill, keep taking your pill at the normal time each day and use a backup method until you can talk with a doctor at Nurx or another health care provider.

More articles that might be helpful:

The Minipill vs. the Combination Pill: What’s the Difference?

3 STIs That Are On the Rise (and How to Protect Yourself)

How to Get (Affordable) Birth Control Online


This blog pro­vides infor­ma­tion about telemed­i­cine, health and related sub­jects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be con­strued as a substitute for, med­ical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or per­son with a med­ical con­cern should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.

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