How Long Should a Woman Wait After Missing a Birth Control Pill ?!?

Dear Couch,

How long should a female wait after missing one pill before having sex. She took two the next day and continued one a day since then. How long should she wait?


Dear Nervous/Horny Guy,

Nothing creates panic in a guy's comfy, marshmallow, no condoms & no kids, world like the statement, " I forgot my pill!" Suddenly horrible images of condoms, spermicides, and worse yet, No Sex fill his horny little mind to the point of despair! Yea! You guys have it easy don't cha' !? That lovely little pill lets you poke around in your favorite place with no worries of possible yard monkeys or paternity suits! So thank your lucky stars The Pill is your woman's responsibility because if it was yours, we'd be getting a lot more letters about 'forgotten pills'.

Now, to your question. Of course it depends on what type of oral contraceptive she's using and how long she went without it. There are two basic types combined oral contraceptives (COC's) and progestin only pills (POP's). The difference in your case is what to do when one is missed and the easiest way to find out what type you're taking is to call a local pharmacy and ask. Pharmacists are a wonderful, free, source of info. Just call that number on your pill pack and ask away. In fact, you could have skipped us and just dialed that magic number or you can call 1-800-230-PLAN to be connected to the nearest Planned Parenthood center in your area.

For a situation in which one COC pill is missed, the woman should take the missed pill as soon as she realizes it and continue the remaining pills even if that means taking two pills at once. Pregnancy is not likely to occur in this situation so no back up birth control is necessary, but it is smart. If two COC pills are missed then the woman should take an active pill for the next seven (7) days, abstaining from sex or using a back up birth control. If you don't have seven more 'active' pills in your case, finish the active ones normally and skip the inactive ones, starting your next pack.

For a situation when one or more POP pills are missed, the woman should take the most recently missed pill and the next pill at the regular time even if that's two pills in one day. She should abstain from sex for at least 48 hours or use another form of birth control during that time. Again, if you are unsure of what type of pill you're using, just dial the number on your pill pack for the pharmacy that filled it. Tell them the situation and ask their advice.

Glorious Disclaimer!: Realize people that you should NEVER entrust your child birth control to some unknown morons on the Internet. For all you know we could be a band of demented midgets, hell bent on screwing up the lives of you 'bigger people'! Don't make this your only information source! We're talking about your future lives here people! Don't be the schmuck on the late night talk show sweating it out as some overly tanned host pumps up the crowd while holding your paternity test results! Our advice on missed pills is to abstain from sex or use other birth control methods until a full month's cycle of pills have been gone through. Is this extreme? Not when you compare that small month with an entire lifetime/relationship thrown into chaos due to an unwanted pregnancy!

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