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April 17, 2010 6:59 PM   Subscribe

I accidentally took two birth control pills in one day - what do I do now?

I just looked at my birth control pill pack (Tri-Cyclen Lo) and noticed that I have already taken today's (Saturday) pill - I either doubled up on Thursday or Friday, but I'm not exactly sure when I did it. I'm due to take my regularly scheduled pill in about half an hour or so. It has been almost 24 hours since I last took a pill (or two?) I had a little bout of nausea earlier today but I feel fine now.

Google has led me to all sorts of conflicting information about accidentally taking two pills on the same day, I can't get a hold of a doctor until Monday, and the information that came with my pills doesn't cover this. So, my my questions:

1. Do I take a pill tonight as usual and not skip a day and just finish my pill pack a day early?

2. Do I start the next pill pack a day earlier than normal as well? I'm usually a Thursday starter, so will I start my next pill pack on a Wednesday instead?
posted by futureisunwritten to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
It's usually okay to skip a pill without anything going wrong. I would just take Sunday's pill on Sunday.
posted by amethysts at 7:01 PM on April 17, 2010

Take your usual pill tonight. If anything, you might get some spotting at some point this cycle, but it shouldn't cause any problems.

However, when you get to your placebo week, make sure you start your new pack one day sooner than you would have normally--you don't want your placebo week to exceed seven days.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:11 PM on April 17, 2010

This answer from the MSU student heath facility's blog is tailored a bit to MSU students, but covers your situation.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 7:15 PM on April 17, 2010

When I was three, I ate a whole month's supply of birth-control pills in one sitting. I think you'll be fine ;) Don't skip a day.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:16 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dear Alice,

I took two birth control pills in one day 'cause I forgot that I had already taken one that day. Do I still take one tonight even though I'll be ahead one day?

Dear Reader,

Not to worry. Accidentally popping a second pill is a common slip and fortunately one that has few consequences. You might have felt a little nauseated the day you doubled up, particularly if you've found yourself to be sensitive to the hormones in birth control pills, but the feeling soon passes.

As far as getting back on schedule, you can pick right back up and take a pill the next day, even though you'll be a day ahead. Some types of pills are only effective if taken every 24 hours, so be sure to take one within that time period. As an extra precaution, you might consider using a backup method of protection, such as a condom, for at least a week after the slip.

Also, some of these ideas below may help keep you on track:

Leave the birth control pills in their original case. While a sandwich bag might be a more compact and convenient way to tote them around, you lose the trusty calendar built into most pill cases.
Pair the pill with an activity. Keep your pills next to the toothpaste and finish off your morning or nighttime routine with a dose. If you find that one activity isn't consistent enough to associate with taking the pills, then switch to another activity.
If you find sticking to the rigid daily schedule of birth control pills difficult to maintain, however, you may consider talking with your gynecologist or women's health care provider about other contraceptive options. Not everyone is a reliable pill-taker, so it is great that additional methods of birth control are available.

posted by JayRwv at 7:16 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Like others are saying, don't skip a day. Take tonight's pill as usual, start the new pack when this pack ends (so, yes, start on Wednesday). Simple as that.

Source: California certified Family Planning Counselor (IANAD)
posted by phyllary at 7:30 PM on April 17, 2010

Check the brochure that comes with the medication, it usually includes instructions for this.
posted by oxit at 5:30 AM on April 18, 2010

Thanks everybody! I didn't skip and I'll start the next pack a day early.

oxit, it says in my post that the instructions didn't cover this.
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:11 AM on April 19, 2010

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