By Dawn Stacey, M.Ed., LMHC, About.com Contraception Guide
If you use the Pill, it has to be taken at the same time every day; in fact, if you forget to take just 1 birth control pill, you increase your chances of becoming pregnant. During a cycle, if 2 or more pills are missed, the chance of this method failing increases dramatically, especially if an alternative method of birth control (like a condom) is not used. Having a routine is a good way to reduce the likelihood of this happening. It has been show that having a set daily routine can affect birth control consistency. Women without a customary routine are more than 3 times as likely to miss 2 or more pills per cycle.
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- A woman should make sure to use the Pill consistently and continually. She should take it at the same time, every day.
- An individual who uses the pill should understand how to take the pill properly and what to do if she accidently misses a pill.
- If a woman misses 2 or more pills during any cycle, she should use an alternate method of birth control as a back-up.
- It is helpful to associate pill use with some other regular daily activity (such as taking it before a person brushes her teeth). This way, taking the pill becomes part of a routine.
- A female should remember to bring an extra pack of pills when traveling if she will finish the old pack while away.
- It is important to consult with a medical doctor about using a back-up contraceptive method if a woman is prescribed antibiotics or is taking certain herbal supplements or other medications.
- If you have any questions about your birth control method, please contact your healthcare provider. You will lower your chances for birth control failure if you have a proper and thorough understanding of how to use your contraceptive.
(Note: See our next reprint from Dawn, Medications and Inhibitors That Lower Hormonal Contraceptive Effectiveness.)
For the rest of Dawn's reprints:
- Tips for Contraceptive Success (introduction to the series)
- What Leads to Contraceptive Failure?
- How To Prevent Condom Failure
- How To Respond to Men's Excuses for Not Wanting to Wear a Condom
- How To Prevent Diaphragm Failure
- How To Decrease Failure with the Fertility Awareness Method
- How To Prevent Oral Contraceptive Failure
- Medications and Inhibitors that Lower Hormonal Contraception Effectiveness
- How to Prevent IUD Failure
To learn more about contraception, please visit Dawn's work on About.com.
Or you can consult the Nonviolent Choice Directory's extensive Pregnancy Prevention resources. The Nonviolent Choice Directory also sells nonprescription family planning and safer sex items through our website.