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Q. What is the risk of pregnancy if you miss the pill the following morning of intercourse?

Answered by
Dr. Vidya
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 04, 2018

Hello doctor,

I have an important query about the contraceptive pill. On the 2nd, my girlfriend started her period. It is now the 16th. So, I believe she is in her ovulation phase. Since her period stopped, she has begun, for the very first time, taking the combined contraceptive pill consistently at 8 AM every morning. She took the pill yesterday morning. Last night, on the 15th of March, we had unprotected sex (we thought one night without condoms would be fine). However, this morning she was in a rush and forgot to take her pill for today. It is 2:16 PM now and I have a few urgent questions:

  1. Should she take the morning after pill?
  2. How effective will the morning after pill be in protecting from pregnancy?
  3. How much will the pills previously taken lower the risk of pregnancy?
  4. Given her current stage of ovulation, what is the risk of her becoming pregnant? The period of time between the missed pill at 8 AM this morning and the time that she will take the morning-after pill (around 4 PM)?
  5. Do you recommend taking today’s pill today if she is also taking the morning after pill today?
  6. Is there anything else we can do now to minimize the risk?
  7. Should we be worried?

Thank you.

Dr. Vidya

Obstetrics And Gynaecology
#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

A morning-after pill is different from the regular oral contraceptive pills. Do you mean to say the daily pill or an additional morning-after pill? I need clarity on this.

If you mean the regular pill, do not use the phrase morning-after pill as that means an emergency pill used only once or twice depending on the dose.If you meant the regular pills which seems so from your history, she need not have to worry if the delay in taking the pill has not been more than 24 hours. It is fine to have taken it a few hours late as long as she has not skipped the pill that day. There is no need to take an additional pill if she has not missed the day's pill.

If the pills were started a week before the intercourse and she has taken them daily and not missed a single pill, the effectiveness in preventing a pregnancy is about 99 percent.

Do remember that no contraceptive pill or method is hundred percent effective and failures can always happen. There is nothing to worry as of now and let her continue taking the pills as usual at the regular time.

Hope I have answered your doubts.

For more information consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/obstetrician-and-gynaecologist


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Hello doctor,

Thanks for the response. By “regular pill” I meant the combined contraceptive pill she has been taking each morning, except for this morning. Usually, she takes them at 8 AM every morning. So, missing her pill this morning means there has been a 24-hour delay. It is 3 PM now, so that delay would be seven hours so far.

My question is what is the risk of pregnancy if you take the combined contraceptive pill on Thursday morning, have intercourse Thursday night, and then forget to take the pill the following morning? And, does this mean she should take the morning after emergency pill, and if it does mean that, what should we do with the combined contraceptive pill she was supposed to take today (Friday)?

Dr. Vidya

Obstetrics And Gynaecology
#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

If she had to take the pill at 8 AM and has taken at 3 PM, it is not 24 hours yet. In such a case, no need to take another pill or a morning-after pill. The chances of effectiveness in preventing pregnancy is 99 percent and does not alter or reduce.

She should just continue taking the pills as usual at her regular timing.

For more information consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/obstetrician-and-gynaecologist


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