Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Taking Your Pills and Missed Pills

​The birth control pill is a very effective hormonal birth control option, but only if the pills are taken properly.
 
How to start the birth control pill
Take the 1st pill on the Sunday after your period starts if your period begins on Sunday, start that day. Use condoms during your 1st month on the pill.
 
When to take the pill
Take 1 pill a day (at approximately the same time each day) until you finish the pack. Start a new pack the following day.
 
What to do if you missed a pill
The table below outlines what to do if you have missed taking one or more birth control pills.
 
During Week 1 During Week 2 or 3​
1 pill missed - Take 1 pill now and take the next pill at your regular time. This may mean you take 2 pills at once. Then Continue taking 1 pill daily as usual.
Condoms need to be used for the next 7 days. Consider ECP.
1 pill missed - Take 1 pill now and take the next pill at your regular time. This may mean you take 2 pills at one. Continue taking 1 pill daily as usual.​
2 pills missed - Take 2 pills now and take 2 pills next day. Continue taking 1 pill daily as usual.
Condoms need to be used for the next 7 days. Consider ECP.
2 pills missed - Take 2 pills now and take 2 pills the next day. Then continue taking 1 pill daily until the end of the pack. Discard any sugar pills. Start a new pack of pills without taking the sugar pills.
Condoms need to be used for the next 7 days. Consider ECP.
3 or more pills missed - Call the Sexual Health Clinic - another birth control option might suit you better. Restart your daily pill.
 
Condoms need to be used for the next 7 days. Consider ECP.
 
3 or more pills missed - Call the Sexual Health Clinic. Take 1 pill now and continue taking 1 pill daily until the end of the pack. Discard any sugar pills. Start a new pack of pills without taking the sugar pills.
Condoms need to be used for the next 7 days. Consider ECP.
 
The ECP can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. If you have forgotten any pills, you may need ECP. The sooner you take it, the more effective it is. Contact your Sexual Health Clinic or pharmacy for more information.
 
Hormonal birth control and STIs
The birth control pill protects against pregnancy, not STIs or HIV/AIDS. It is best to always use a condom when having sex even if you are using birth control. Free condoms are available through the Northwestern Health Unit.


   External links:
   _____________________