Taking Birth Control Pill an Hour, 2 Hours or Couple Hours Late – What to Do?

Birth control pills are one of the most effective methods to prevent pregnancy. Almost all young women can take them without any problems. It is important to take birth control pills every day, approximately at the same time. But, you may have heard someone to say:  “I forgot to take my birth control pill”, so you may be wondering what to do then.

In this article we will tell you what to do if you forgot to take birth control pill. Also, we will tell you something more about these pills and how to take them properly.

If you use these pills or if you are planning to use them, this article will be very useful and interesting for you.

What Are Birth Control Pills?

Birth control pills contain progestin and estrogen, the female hormones that prevent ovulation. There are different types of birth control pills, but almost all of them are used in the same way.

Most pills contain both hormones, but there are also some pills that contain only progestin. Studies have shown that the pills with both hormones are more effective than the progestin-only pills.

Even though some people consider them unhealthy, birth control pills have a lot of health benefits. It is known that many girls use these pills because of their medical benefits. Birth control pills will regulate your menstrual cycle and you will have the periods every 28 days. Also, your periods will be lighter and less painful.

It is proved that birth control pills may improve your skin condition and help you get rid of acne. If you use birth control pills, your menstrual cramps will be decreased or you will not have them at all. Many studies have shown that birth control pills may also reduce the risk of ovarian cysts, as well as ovarian and endometrial cancer.

As we have already said, there are many different types of birth controll pills, so it is best to consult your health provider before you decide which pills you will use. When the doctor prescribes you the pills, you should follow the instructions and take the pills regularly.

How To Take Birth Control Pills Properly?

Birth control pills are very effective, so there’s almost no risk of getting pregnant. But, it is important to take the pills every day at the same time.

Also, the birth control pills should always be taken from left to right. At the end of the package there are placebo pills and while you are taking them you will get your menstrual period. The placebo pills should be taken the same way as other pills. However, you will be protected even while you are taking the placebo pills. You just need to take them regularly.

After taking the last pill from the package, you should start with a new package the next day. There should not be any pause between two packages of birth control pills.

If you have decided to take birth control pills and you didn’t use them before, it is recommended to start from the first day of your menstrual period.

What If You Miss a Birth Control Pill?

Now there is a question, what to do if you have missed birth control pill? This is a very common question among the women who take birth control pills. Irregular use of birth control pills is one of the main reasons for unintended pregnancy. If you miss a pill, you are actually increasing the chance to stay pregnant.

However, the possibility of staying pregnant depends upon when you have missed to take a pill and how many pills you have missed. If you had unprotected sex a couple of days after missing a pill, then you should do a pregnancy test.

Less Than 12 Hours Late. However, if you have missed taking a pill, but you are less than 12 hours late, then you don’t have to worry. Take your pill right now and also take the next pill when you take it usually. In this case, you will not need any additional protection. If you are an hour, 2 hours or a couple of hours late taking your pill, it is not the problem and the pill will not lose its effectiveness.

More Than 12 Hours Late. The problem may appear if you are more than 12 hours late taking birth control pill. In this case you should take the missed pill immediately and also the pill that you should normally take that day. It means that you will take two pills that day.

Also, if you had unprotected sex in the last few days, you should take emergency contraception, if you want to eliminate any risk of staying pregnant. The sooner you take it, the better it will work. It is recommended to use emergency contraceptive within 24 hours after the unprotected sex.

Also, in the following days, approximately one week, you should use additional protection methods, such as condom. Another option is not to have sex within a week after missing the pill.

2 Days Late. If you have missed 2 days of birth control pills, then you should take 2 pills as soon as you remember and also 2 pills the following day. This way you will be back on your regular schedule.

All these rules that we have mentioned refer to the birth control pills that contain both hormones – progestin and estrogen. But, if you are using progestin-only pills and if you have missed to take one for more than three hours, then you should take it as soon as you remember. Also, you should take the next pill at the time when you usually take it. A condom or some other back-up method will be needed in the next 48 hours.

Now there is a question what to do if you have lost the pill that you should take that day? In this case you should take the next pill in the package and to continue using the package normally. It only means that you will start to take your next package of birth control pills a day earlier. Of course, if you lose the pill and if you continue using other pills from the package, you will be protected, but some experts recommend also the use of some additional protection methods during that month.

Of course, you may be wondering what to do if you have missed a placebo pill. In this case, you should discard the pill that you have missed and continue using other pills normally ’till the end of the package.

There is also a warning for you. If you have taken an active birth control pill but you vomited for some reason within the next 2 hours, then this pill is considered as missed one. In this case you should follow the instructions that we have expalined you above.

What If You Miss a Period?

You have seen what to do when you miss a pill, but what if you miss a period and you are taking your birth control pills regularly? You may be worried if you have missed a period, but the truth is that you don’t have the reasons to be worried. If you use your pills regularly, and if you didn’t miss any of the pills, then you are not pregnant for sure.

It is normal for some girls who use birth control pills to miss their periods. As we have already mentioned, the periods will be light and they may last only one day, but sometimes it is also possible to miss them. However, if you don’t have a period, you should continue using the next package normally. If you miss your period again, it is best to see your health provider.

But, if you forget to take a birth control pill very often, we recommend you to start using some other contraceptive method.

Even though contraceptive pills are very effective in preventing the pregnancy, it is important to know that these pills cannot protect you against sexually transmitted diseases.


As you have seen in this article, not only will control birth pills prevent pregnancy, but they also have many health benefits for girls and young women.

It is necessary to take birth control pills every day at the same time. We have shown you what to do if you have missed taking a pill. If you are late only an hour or a couple of hours, you will not have problems, but if you are late for more than 12 hours, then some additional contraceptive methods will be necessary.

We hope this article has been useful for you and we are sure that you will follow our instructions. We also hope that you will not miss your pills anymore, but if it happens, you will know exactly what to do.

If you don’t want to stay pregnant, we recommend you to use birth control pills regularly, because they can be very beneficial for your overall health. But, you should have in mind that these pills will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, so it is best to use them in combination with condoms or some other contraceptive methods.