Question about missed birth control
August 22, 2014 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Pretty straightforward. I took my combined oral contraceptive erratically for a little over a week - how long should I wait before I resume unprotected sex?

Should I assume it's like starting from zero as if I had just begun taking the pills, or is there a certain period of time?

Due to trying to shift my pill-taking time from noon to early evening, I ended up forgetting my pills until various random hours of the night and in one case, morning. Finally I gave up and resumed taking it at noon (which has worked fine).

The Planned Parenthood website says if you miss more than 4 pills in a row to avoid unprotected sex for 7 days and to continue taking your pills through the placebo week (aka skip the withdrawal week altogether). However, I didn't miss over 4 pills in a row. Still, I know taking them at different times can increase the likelihood of breakthrough ovulation, and it was during the first two weeks of my pack so I have some basis to be concerned about that.

I'd like to be conservative. Any biologically-wise mefites, help!
posted by celtalitha to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
If you want to be conservative, this is really easy. Assume you're starting from zero and do the 7-days thing. There's no good way to know if you had breakthrough ovulation or not, and taking them erratically vastly lowers their effectiveness, so condom it up for a week and take it from there.
posted by brainmouse at 5:41 PM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

7 days. That's the minimum amount of time you can be back on the pill (taking it correctly) to be ensured protection.
posted by devinemissk at 5:41 PM on August 22, 2014

Yep, agree with everyone that you have to wait a week.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:44 PM on August 22, 2014

Response by poster: But do I still have to take them through the placebo week? That's the part that really confused me as I have never heard that before.
posted by celtalitha at 5:47 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would take them through the placebo week. The idea there is you need to be taking them for a full three weeks before you STOP taking them for one week. Bonus: you get to skip a period! :)
posted by rainbowbrite at 5:53 PM on August 22, 2014

This can vary from pill to pill. For example, when I was on the pill the directions if you completely missed 4 days in a row were to start from scratch. Not saying you should do that in the least, just saying that it can vary. If you have insurance, there's a decent chance they have free 24/7 nurse advice line (check on the back of the card). You can call and ask about whether to take the placebo week based on the particular pill you're taking. FWIW, whenever I've called the one for my insurance the hold time has been just a couple of minutes and the nurses were kind.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 8:44 PM on August 22, 2014

Yes, you don't need to take the placebo week if you're doing a reset (or ever, really).
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:16 AM on August 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is also something you can call your pharmacist about to get expert, free (well, it's rolled in to the cost of the prescription) advice.
posted by BrashTech at 8:33 AM on August 23, 2014

« Older I'm either insulted or over reacting   |   Device of all trades, master of none? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.