Took Birth Control 2 Hours Late

Both men and women can try different methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Most women rely on "the pill", which is a form of hormonal contraception and is to be taken orally. The good thing is that when taken correctly, this form of contraception is 99.9% effective. It means you have to take it in the right way or else you increase your chances of becoming pregnancy even after taking the pill. Many women ask, "What are the chances to become pregnant if you took birth control 2 hours late?" Let's discuss more about it.

Is It Still Effective If I Took Birth Control 2 Hours Late?

Yes, the pill is effective even if you take it a couple of hours after the recommended time. You usually need to take your pill once a day if you are on combined-hormone pills. The good thing with combined-hormone pills is that you do not have to take them at the same time every day. You will increase your chances of becoming pregnant though if you do not take the pill for a week or so – this usually happens when a woman does not start a new pack on time. In this case, you need a backup method to avoid unwanted pregnancy, and there are quite a few actually.

You can always use the condom – both male and female condoms are available today. You can also use sponge or diaphragm when having vaginal intercourse. The morning after pill is also available to prevent pregnancy if you have unprotected vaginal sex – you need to take the pill within five days of having sex.

Still, many women have questions about what will happen if they miss any pills from a 21-day or 28-day pack. Will you become pregnant if you took birth control 2 hours late? No, you won't, but there are other possibilities as well. For instance:

What Happened

When in the Pill Pack?

What Should I Do?

Should I Use Backup Birth Bontrol or Avoid Sex?

Took a hormone pill late, but less than a day's delay

Anytime

Take the pill as soon as you remember and continue with the rest of your pills as usual – you will have to take two pills in 1 day in this case.

No

1 pill missed but less than 2 days since the last pill

Anytime

Take the pill as soon as you remember and continue with the rest of your pills as usual – you will have to take two pills in 1 day in this case.

No

2 or more pills missed with 2 or more days since the pill should be taken

Week 1 or 2

Take the most recent pill and discard other missed pills. Continue with the rest of the pill in the pack

Yes, for 7 days

2 or more pills missed with 2 or more days since the pill should be taken

Week 3

Take the most recent pill and discard other missed pills. Continue with the rest of the pills in the pack and start a new pack the next day, skipping the remainder pills in the current pack

Yes, for 7 days

Remainder pills missed

Week 4

Throw away and start with the next remainder pill - take it at the usual time

No

Progestin Only Pills

It is a good idea to take your progestin-only pill at the same time every day or else it will be less effective. Will it be effective if you took birth control 2 hours late?There may be some effect in case of progestin-only pill – they become a lot less effective if you take them three hours later than your usual timing. Take a pill as soon as you remember and be sure to take the next pill at the usual time. Continue with the rest of the pack as usual and use a backup method for at least 48 hours after taking the late pill.

Keep in mind that you may notice light bleeding or spotting after missing a birth control pill or taking it late. Nausea is another common issue here. So, do not worry if you experience such issues after taking two pills in one day.

How to Take Birth Control Pills

Now you know the type of the pills you take will determine whether the pill is still effective as usual if you took birth control 2 hours late. Similiarly, the right way of taking the pill also depends on what kind of pills you are using. For instance:

Combination Pills

Both 28-day and 21-day combination pills have 21 'active' pills. The active pills contain hormones. The seven additional pills in 28-day packs are 'remainder' pill that do not contain hormones. You have to take a pill daily for three weeks in a row if you are using a 21-day pack. You will take no pill for the next week and then have to start a new pack after the break.

Progestin-Only Pills

These pills are available in 28-day packs and all of them are active. You have to take a pill everyday at the same time. Keep in mind that you may get no periods at all or get your period the fourth week while taking progestin-only pills. There may be spotting or light bleeding occasionally throughout the month.

How to Start the Pills

You can start your pills in three different ways. The following table will provide you more details about it.

Start Method

Instructions

Backup Method

Quick start

Start your first pack any day of your menstrual cycle if you are quite sure that you are not currently pregnant.

Stick to a backup method during the first week of starting the pill.

Sunday start

Start the pack on the first Sunday after your menstrual flow begins.

Stick to a backup method during the first week of starting the pill.

Day 1 start

Start with your first pack on the first day of your menstrual flow.

No need to use any backup method.

Be sure to take one pill every day and start a new pack immediately after completing the first one. If you took birth control 2 hours late, don't worry. There're still ways to help.

Helpful Tips about Birth Control Pills

  • You can make the pill more effective by taking it at the same time every day. Select a time that is easy to remember, so you do not miss any pill.
  • You may not be pregnant if you do not get your period on time but have been taking the pill on time. Taking a pregnancy test may still help confirm, especially if you miss two periods in a row.
  • You do not need to worry if you start the pill and then find out that you are already pregnant. The pill does not increase the risk of birth defects when taken in early pregnancy.
  • You may stop taking the pill when you want to become pregnant, but your period may take a couple of months to return to normal.
 
 
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