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Will my combination birth control pill still be effective if I took it late?

What to do for a late or missed pill

If you miss 1 active pill or are late taking your pill

  • Take the missed/late pill as soon as you remember.
  • Take the next pill at your regular time, even if that means you take 2 pills in one day.
  • Emergency contraception is not usually needed.

If you miss 2 active pills in a row in Week 1 or Week 2 of your pack

  • Take the most recently missed pill as soon as you can, even if that means taking two pills the same day.
  • Then take 1 pill a day until you finish the pack.
  • Use back up until you have been on pills for 7 days.

If you miss 2 active pills in a row in Week 3 or later of your pack

  • Take the most recently missed pill as soon as you can, even if it means taking 2 pills the same day.
  • Take 1 pill a day until you finish the pack.
  • Throw away the inactive pills at the end of this pack and go straight into the next pack. You will most likely NOT have a period this month. You don’t need to throw away the pack if you are using an extended cycle pack of pills. In that case keep going.
  • Use a backup form of contraception until you have been on active pills for at least 7 days.

If you miss 3 or more active pills in a row (during the first 3 weeks)

  • Throw out the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day.
  • If you are using an extended cycle pack of pills keep on going.
  • Use backup contraception until you have taken 7 days of active pills.

If you forget any of the “reminder”  placebo pills in Week 4

  • Just throw away the pills you missed.
  • Keep taking 1 pill each day until the pack is empty.
  • Start your next pack on time.
  • Start your new pack on time, the same day you usually start.

Finally, if you are still not sure what to do about the pills you have missed, keep taking one active pill every day and use a backup method when you have sex. Message us at Nurx to answer your questions.

For more answers to your healthcare questions, visit our Knowledge Center.

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Birth Control from Nurx costs as little as $0 with insurance or $15 without insurance.

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