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When have you officially "missed" a birth control pill?

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  • When have you officially "missed" a birth control pill?

    I've been on hormonal birth control pills for a while now and have never had any concerns about remembering to take them. I usually pick a time before I go to bed, taking them between 10:15 and 10:30 every day.

    During my latest visit to my gynecologist, I asked in passing what is considered an official missed pill--is it late after ten minutes? Twenty? An hour?

    She couldn't give me a direct answer, instead stressing again the importance of taking the pill at the same time every day.

    Which is all a roundabout way of asking: has anyone heard or read anything conclusive regarding exactly how close to the same time every day birth control pills need to be taken to be effective? Is a woman taking them between eight and nine-thirty technically missing a pill every day? I'm curious to see if anyone has any more information than I do.

  • Ive been told by my doctor that the hormone stays in your body close to 48 hours after you take the pill. I have actually missed a few pills because of a vacation and my period started after 3 third pill was missed. I think it depends on the type of birth control you are on, but I'm pretty sure you can go at least a day and a half before you take your next pill and still be protected. I would definitely get another doctor's opinion though. While not taking a pill within 24hours is "technically" missing it, a half an hour later than usual should not matter, or there would be a lot of birth control failures!
    "If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already." -Abraham Lincoln

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    • A few hours' leeway isn't a miss. I used to 'miss' all the time by taking the pill in the morning **most** days, and taking it in the evening after work when I forgot in the morning or was running late. I didn't count it as a miss unless it'd been more than 20 hours since my last one, and I didn't have any problems... of course, you do want to try to make it a habit for peace of mind at least, but if you're a few hours late one day it won't harm your cycle.

      As far as effectiveness goes, you're supposed to use backup if you miss more than 2 pills (a 48-hour window), so I'd assume that 24-hour timeframe to be right about when the effectiveness declines...

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