OB-GYN (Obstetrician-Gynecologist) Questions Birth Control

What if I miss a week straight of birth control pills?

I accidentally left my pills at home on vacation. Do I take the whole missed week at once or space it out? How will this affect my cycle?

28 Answers

Stop the pills. You will have your menses in a few days. And start a new pack.

Back up contraception s a must! You will most likely get a bleed after missing your pills for a week. Count this bleed as your period and Sunday start a new pack of pills (discard the old pack to avoid any confusion), Use additional protection until you complete this new pack. Remember, ta only condoms will protect against an STI.
Please throw out the pack and use a backup method (condoms). Restart new pack on the following Sunday, to keep the schedule, with use of backup for at least 1 wk of the new pack. Bleeding might be irregular until the 2nd pack, it all depends on which week was missed. If you had intercourse during that time, recommend emergency contraception. Also, should take pregnancy test to make sure not pregnant if had intercourse during that time.
At this point, the best thing to do is stop this cycle of pills and do not try a method of catch up. Use condoms with sex and restart your pills as you would normally after your next menstrual period.
Use a back up method for birth control and wait for bleeding and start the next batch of pills
Wait until next cycle meanwhile use condom
First, you should use another form of protection such as condoms until you have completed an entire month of birth control pills.
Seven pills at one time is not a good idea. You should simply start a new pack, but be aware you could get pregnant during the first new pack, hence the condoms.
Carrying your pills in your purse or in your cell phone case is a good way to avoid leaving them behind.
Even though pills can be forgotten or left behind they are the best form of contraception due to the many good side effects including more regular, lighter, shorter and less painful periods, reduced risks for ovarian and endometrial cancers, reduced risk for acne and abnormal hair growth,and the absence of increased weight gain.
If you missed a whole week, there is a reasonable chance you will ovulate (or release an egg) this month even if you restart the pills. So abstain or use a backup contraceptive until your next period comes. But you can just restart the pills as usual (one a day) when you're back with them.
If you missed a full week of pills, then you should start a new pack. You should use backup contraception such as a condom for the next 2 weeks.
If you have missed a whole week you will likely get a menses. I would recommend starting a new pill pack.
When you stop taking your birth control pills for 2-3 days in a row, the uterine lining will shed, so you can expect a period. Also, you will loose any protection offered by the birth control pill.
Options to avoid missing the pill:
- The pharmacies have nationwide chains and they can transfer your prescription where you are;
- Also, I refill and send prescriptions to out-of-state pharmacies when my patients are in your situation, so call your GYN doc and explain you left on vacation and forgot the pills and can they send a prescription to a pharmacy near you? Most docs have electronic records now (when I send an electronic prescription to any pharmacy, it gets there after I click send).
No you have to use a backup method and start all over again a new pack, backup method means condom
You should allow yourself to have a period and restart the pack next month. If you skip more than 2 days it's not usually recommended to double up on missed pills. Please make sure to use a backup form of birth control in the meantime (condoms)
The importance of taking your pills promptly every day is to prevent you from getting pregnant. Missing a pill one day means a probability of getting pregnant during the days intercourse. Missing a pill for a week with abstinence you cannot get pregnant and you can take two pills when you remember and start the daily pill till the end of one week. (Your period should have started after leaving the pills for a week!)
If you have been on the pills for a long time, Save for over 4 to 6 months, Immediately. It is not likely that you could break through and I ovulate at that point. However, if this is the first cycle or two you would be willing wise to use a back up method of contraception until you get back on the pills
You'll need to use back up birth control such as condoms for this month. You may just resume the daily pill if you have returned. There may be some abnormal uterine bleeding whenever you miss more than one or two pills for a month. In the future if you miss one pill, you may double up the next day. However, if you miss more than two pills you should always use a back up birth control for that month.
If you missed an entire week of your birth control pills, they will no longer be effective for the remainder of the pack. You should use condoms for contraception currently. You should wait for menses to occur and then start a new pack, while using condoms as back-up for the first few weeks of use. You may have menses earlier than usual when you stop the
pills early. You should follow-up with your Ob/Gyn to discuss further.
Hi there,
Since you have already missed a week, you can either wait to have a period like you would have during the placebo pill week or you can go on to another packet. Either option is fine depending on how close your period will be from your last one.
I hope this helps.
Stop taking the rest of the pills and start a new pack on the next Sunday after you start bleeding and use protection with condoms or abstenance till after you start the second pack of the pills
you should stop the pill altogether. be obstinate  or use the morning after pil with in 48 hrs of intercourse.  wait for the next menses and start the new pack the sunday following the first day. of the period.
first rule out pregnancy if you are sexually active. you will have a withdrawal bleeding. Restart pill all over again.
When you miss a whole week of pills the main consequence is that your ovaries may start to function again, so you are primarily at risk for getting pregnant if you are sexually active with a male partner. I recommend restarting your pills once a day and then using condoms along with your pills until your next period.

It may throw off your bleeding cycle, but after another packet of pills, this should return very nearly to normal.
You would just start taking your pills normally as soon as you are able to and wait 2 weeks before having unprotected sex, to be sure they are working.
If you have missed 3 or more active pills in a row at any time then throw the rest of the pill pack away and start a new pack the same day and use a non-hormonal birth control method (condom, etc) as a back-up the next time you have sex and for the first 7 days after you start the new pack. You may NOT have a period this month.
Absolutely not. Taking 7 pills at once would likely cause you to vomit for a day straight and would not work in terms of contraception. You may or may not get bleeding at an unexpected time.

If you miss more than two days, reliable contraception cannot be guaranteed and you need to restart a new package of pills and use a backup method (consistent condom use) for at least two weeks not withdrawal (pull-out), which is unreliable.

If this happens frequently you should speak to your doctor about an IUD, which requires no remembering and is much more effective. Good luck.

Peter G. McGovern, M.D.
Definitely use condoms for the rest of the week and the first two weeks of the next pill pack. Start a new pack when you get home. You will probably start bleeding from coming off the pill.
If you have missed a complete week then you need to use condoms 100% of the time until your next menses have started and just start a new pack. No sense in finishing this pack.

You need to be on the next pack for at least 3 weeks with condoms until you have started to take it regularly or it will not be effective against preventing pregnancy.

I advise all my patients to keep the pills by your toothbrush because you at least do that the same time every day.

Always call your GYN when these things happen so that they can follow your cycle. I recommend making a follow up to see your GYN.

Jaime Goldstein, MD
You shouldn't take them all at once. Depending on which week was missed, you can simply restart the missing pills. Still, you could have conceived when off the pills so you should check a pregnancy test before restarting the pills.