What To Do When You Forget Your Birth Control

birth control pills

Our kids might think we're perfect, but we know the truth! We might spend our days being Supermom, but we all experience slip ups from time to time, especially when it comes to remembering to take our birth control. Luckily, a missed pill or two isn't the end of the world. Here are some helpful tips to keep you calm and levelheaded the next time you blank out!

>> Read more: Guide to Birth Control: Which Is Best For You?

What happens in your body when you miss a couple pills? When you forget to use your hormone-based contraception, you increase the likelihood that your ovaries release an egg to be fertilized. If you miss one or more of the placebo pills in your pack, there's no need to stress out. They don't actually contain any active ingredients, and the likelihood of pregnancy is pretty much nonexistent during that time!

>>Learn more about Natural Family Planning here!

If you miss one pill... Be sure to take it as soon as you remember. Birth control pills tend to be pretty time-sensitive, but if you take it a couple hours late, or even some time the next day, you'll be just fine — as long as you don't make a habit out of it. If you do take the forgotten pill the next day, be sure to also take the pill for that day as well.

memory tips
(Photo: She and Style)

If you miss two pills... Most experts advise that if you miss two pills in a row, you should take two pills the day you remember, and then another two pills the day after that. This will get your body back on schedule, and keeps those hormones nice and balanced. However, be sure to use backup protection for the next 7 days.

If you miss more than two pills... It's time to call your doctor and see what he or she advises. Your physician may suggest that you take a pill daily until Sunday, and then have you start a new pack. You might also be asked to pitch the remainder of your existing pack and start a new one the same day. Regardless, be sure to use a backup birth control method for the next week.

>> Read more: 10 Things You Never Knew About Birth Control


If you think you are at risk for an unwanted pregnancy... There are certain medicines out there that can be used as emergency contraception. Morning-after pills, such as Plan B, can be used when you slipped up on your normal birth control and had unprotected sex.  These are most effective if you take them within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

pink pill

If you find that you are frequently forgetting to pop that pill, we highly recommend setting up a reminder system! There are several free apps out there that you can download onto your phone or computer. Placing your pills next to a utensil you use every day (like your toothbrush or hairbrush) can also work well as a reminder. Just keep in mind that a missed pill or two isn't the end of the world! Keep calm and stick with these recommendations, and you'll be back on track in no time. As always, contact your doctor for the most up-to-date medical professional advice. For more information, check out our sources here: WebMD, ThePill.com, and The Emergency Contraception Website.