“I forgot to take my pill- What now?”

Choma, did you know that being even 12 hours late in taking your pill can increase your chances of getting pregnant? That’s why it’s so important to take the pill at the same time every day. If you forgot to take your pill, or aren’t taking it consistently like you should be, then continue reading for tips and information.

If you’ve forgotten to take your pill, be sure to use a condom to prevent pregnancy. But remember Choma, that the contraceptive pill doesn’t protect you from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), so you should be using a condom every time no matter what other form of birth control you’re on.

If you’ve been intimate after forgetting to take your pill, you can still prevent pregnancy by taking a morning after pill. The Morning After Pill is most effective if taken within 24 hours of unprotected to sex, but it can be taken up to four days later though it won’t be as effective. If you’re worried you might be pregnant, be sure to take a pregnancy test so you can know for sure.

If you forget to take any of the placebo pills (you’ll know if the pills are placebos by checking the back of the packet, usually the placebo pills will be circled in red), you will not raise your chance of pregnancy. But, if you’ve forgotten to take any of the other pills (the ones that are not placebos) then it’s important for you to follow the steps below.

“I forgot to take one pill”

If you’ve only forgotten to take one pill, take it as soon as possible. If you don’t remember until the next day, take 2 pills that day (the pill you forgot and the pill for the day).

“I forgot to take two pills”

If you’ve forgotten to take your pills for 2 days, take 2 pills on the day you remember and 2 pills the following day.

“I forgot to take more than two pills”

If you’ve missed taking more than 2 pills Choma, then call your healthcare provider immediately and ask them what to do. They may say you need to take one pill daily until Sunday and then start a new pack. Or you might need to throw out the rest of the pill pack and start over with a new pack that same day.

Here’s how to make sure you don’t miss taking your pill again:

1. Set a reminder on your phone, such as a daily alarm. This will also help you take your pill at the same time every day.

2. If you aren’t good at taking your pill every day, Choma, then maybe it’s a good idea for you to look into other forms of contraception. You should also remember to always use a condom, which protects against STIs and is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly.

If you need to know how to use a condom, you can read our how-to guides for male condoms and female condoms.

If you want to switch to a different form of birth control, learn what to ask your healthcare provider before making the change here.

Be safe and responsible Choma, your sexual health is in your hands!

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).