Posted: March 10, 2016 Contributor: administrator

What Goes On In Your Body When You Don’t Take Your Pill

Even the most organized woman will occasionally forget to take her birth control pill. Perhaps you are running late for work, unexpectedly stuck somewhere overnight or taking your pill completely skipped your mind. Or maybe you are permanently stopping the pill since you have decided it’s the right time to start trying to have a baby.

Whatever the reason, discontinuing pill use (even if only accidentally) results in changes in your body. That’s why the number one rule of birth control pill usage is to NOT miss a single dose. Not sure how seriously you should take that warning? Here’s what happens to your body when you skip or miss a pill (or several).
First off, the changes that occur in your body will largely be dictated by how many pills you miss.

If You Miss Only One Pill

This is a pretty common one. We are all human and mistakes happen. If you miss one pill, the chances of you getting pregnant are pretty slim as long as you take the pill as soon as you remember. While it’s not something you want to continue doing, missing one pill every so often and taking it ASAP will likely not cause any massive changes or breach in coverage.

If You Miss Two Pills

While you may notice breakthrough bleeding as a result of missing two pills, you are still relatively safe from unintended pregnancy. You shouldn’t have any need for a backup method of birth control as long as you double up on pills for the next two days.

If You Miss Three or More Pills

This is where you begin to see a breakdown in the efficacy of the pill. If you miss three or more pills your hormone levels start to become unbalanced and the pill is less effective. When taken daily, these hormone levels are perfectly balanced to create changes in the body that make it less likely to result in pregnancy.

If you have sex at any time during that time period, you may want to take emergency contraception to further reduce your risk of pregnancy. After taking the morning after pill, throw out the remaining pills in your pack and get a brand new one. You will want to use a backup method of non-hormonal birth control for at least a week after starting them back up.

If You Go Off the Pill Completely

One of the greatest things about the pill is that you can go off of it and really start trying to get pregnant immediately. It’s fully reversible! You will start ovulating again soon so if you don’t want to conceive a child, you will need condoms right away.

When you discontinue the pill, your body will respond in its own unique way, just as it did when you first started taking it. For some women, this may include the return to many of the period symptoms you had prior to taking the pill, like heavy or irregular periods, cramping, headaches, mood swings, etc. Other women will experience few, if any, side effects associated with discontinuing the pill.

While not all women experience this, some may experience post-pill amenorrhea. This means they may not get a period for two or three months after stopping the pill. It takes some women longer to get their own natural hormone levels balanced.

As you can see, it doesn’t take long for your body to start changing when you miss several pills. This is great if you are hoping to become pregnant, but if you are not be sure to follow all directions to remain protected until your hormonal birth control becomes effective once more.


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