Does when you miss a pill make a difference?
For some types of birth control, when you miss a pill is as important as how many you’ve missed. This can be because your body is doing different things throughout your cycle, which changes how likely you are to get pregnant, or because the pill you’re taking has different levels of hormones throughout the month. If you’ve missed a pill in week 1, for example, you might need to do something different than if you’d missed a pill in week 2. The best thing to do when you miss a pill is to check the patient info that came with it, or to look up instructions for that specific pill.
So are you protected the first week of birth control? Maybe. If you start your birth control on the first day of your period, you’re protected right away. This is called being a Day 1 Starter or a First Day Starter, and you’ll see that term in the instructions for what to do when you miss a pill. If you start the pill at a different time, you should wait 7 days before having unprotected sex.
Will I get bleeding or spotting after missing a pill?
It’s possible to experience bleeding after missing birth control pills. This usually isn’t anything to worry about and some people can experience spotting or cramping throughout their cycle, even when they haven’t missed a birth control pill.
Bleeding after missing 2 birth control pills isn’t an issue as long as you follow your pill’s directions for getting back on track. This usually involves taking your missed pill and possibly using back-up birth control like condoms until you’re protected against pregnancy again.