Birth control pills typically have an expiration date about 12 months after the manufacturing date. While these pills may be taken past the expiration date, their effectiveness cannot be guaranteed beyond that point. Certain storage techniques can help to make sure your birth control pills continue to be effective through the expiration date.
Birth Control Pills Expiration Date
The expiration date for birth control pills is determined by the pharmaceutical company, which tests them for stability and effectiveness over a period of time. Usually, pills are tested for 12 months, so this is the most common expiration date for a single pack of birth control pills. The expiration date for each pack of pills is printed on the packaging.
Can I Take Pills Past the Expiration Date?
There is a good chance that, if pills are properly stored, they will likely be effective for one to five years after expiring. However, the pills’ potency and safety cannot be guaranteed beyond the expiration date.
To avoid becoming pregnant, it’s best to get a new pack of pills if yours has expired. If you have no other alternative, you can take the pills and use a backup method of birth control, such as condoms, for added protection in case the pills are not as effective as they once were.
Storage Tips for Birth Control Pills
The instructions for storing birth control pills are included in the packaging. It’s important to follow these instructions in order to avoid pill damage or deterioration. If your birth control pills are not properly stored, they can become less effective even before the expiration date.
The following tips should be used when storing your birth control pills:
- Leave the pills in their original packaging until you are ready to take them.
- Avoid exposing the pills to sunlight by keeping them in a cabinet or drawer.
- Keep the pills in a climate-controlled environment free from extreme temperatures or humidity levels.