What Happens If You Skip Birth Control Pills

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses how skipping birth control pills can increase the chance of pregnancy.

Question

This may be a stupid question but I am curious. I have been taking birth control pills for about 6-7 years and do not take them at the same time but always remember to take them everyday. I skipped about a weeks worth of pills but not in a row but skipped some days each week of last month. This month I did not start my next round of pills till a week late and my Period App tells me I am at a high chance of pregnancy because I am ovulating and I had unprotected sexual intercourse during the high chance of pregnancy and he ejaculated inside me. I started my next month of pills the day before I had the unprotected sexual intercourse when he ejaculated inside me. What is the chance I can get pregnant?

Asked by NikNik On Mar 02, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Mar 03, 2018

Thank you for your questions. No question is a stupid question and I am happy that you are asking about your birth control. 


It is very important to try to remember to take your birth control around the same time every day. A great way to remember is to set an alarm on your phone or calendar to remind you to take it at the same time each day.


A study by the Social and Sexual Issues Committee recommends the following in regard to missed or skipped doses:

  • If 3 or more doses in the second or third week of birth control are missed that back up contraception should be used until a full 7 days of birth control has been taken correctly.
  • If one or more doses is missed in the first week of birth control back up contraception should be used until a full 7 days of birth control has been taken correctly. The total number of missed days should not exceed 7 days to prevent unintended pregnancy. 


Emergency contraception is not usually recommended in the second or third week of the birth control unless there are repeated omissions of the use of back up contraception. In this case with the repeated missed doses, emergency contraception could be recommended within the 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. In cases when emergency contraception is needed it is important to inform your doctor and receive counseling from a medical professional on the proper way to take the medication and to ensure there is no interaction with any medications you are taking. 


So to reiterate and answer your questions there is no certain percentage to the chance that you could become pregnant. You are at a higher risk by not taking the medication at the same time each day and by missing doses, further increased by the number of days you are missing. The risks are increased when the days are consecutive.


Some other reminders about oral contraceptives are to never leave them in your car or in the heat, use back up methods of contraception while antibiotics and for 7 days after. 

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Jennifer Oliver Pharm.D

Dr. Jennifer Oliver is a licensed immunizing pharmacist in Florida. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree in 2015. Other than her passion for pharmacy, she loves traveling and meeting new people.

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