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Birth Control/Question about skipping Placebo pills


I am 18 years olf age and I've been on and off of birth control a couple times. I've been on it for a month again now and I planed to not take the placebo pills so I wouldn't have my period, at least for now. My life is very busy and I didn't want to deal with the trouble of it in many of the situations I'm a lot. I had already talked to my doctor about it the first time I went on birth conrol and she said it was my choice if I took the placebo pills or not, it was safe either way. I took them that time, never have I not taken them until now. However, my appointment to refill my birth control was going to fall on a date were I had three pills left before the placebo pills. Because of work, I missed that appt and had to go today, i've taken three placebo pills because of that. I have three months worth of birth control on me now and I'd just like to know if it is safe for me to stop taking the placebo pills that I had started to take from the last pack and go right to taking the birth control pills of the next pack. Or because I've already started to, do I have to finish the placebo pills from this pack? I have not started my period yet but I am NOT pregnant, I was tested today for that and told I hadn't started most likely do to the stress I am under lately.

Hi Roberta,

Thank you for your message.

You say you have taken three placebo pills of this month's package and you are wondering if you have to finish the week or if you can stop taking them and jump right into the next month's hormone pills.

The answer is yes, you can do that and there will not be any issue with birth control coverage. The placebo pills are just sugar pills, so it doesn't really matter how few you take, so long as you don't go more than 7 days without taking hormone pills. This is because more than 7 days off hormones will make the birth control stop working.

However, I can't guarantee that you won't still get your period this month because now that you have taken a few days off hormones your body may still have a withdrawal bleed.

Take care,

Birth Control

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Allison Macbeth


I can answer questions about how to choose which method of contraception is right for you, how to deal with mistakes, effectiveness, and emergency contraception. I also have training in HIV, STIs, and sexual health education. I cannot tell you what is the right choice, but I can tell you the pros and cons of each method to help you make an informed decision for your circumstances. If you have had a condom break or had unprotected sex and need emergency contraception please call you local Planned Parenthood or check out


I have been working in the field of sexual health for a decade with specific training in contraception, STIs, HIV, and sexual problems. I have worked in several Planned Parenthood-affiliated charities, telephone helplines, research, education, and currently work for a local health authority evaluating HIV programs in the city.

Macbeth, A., Weerakoon, P., Sitharthan, G. (2009). Australian Parentsí Opinions about School-based Sexual Health Education. Sexual Health. 6, 328-333. I write a weekly advice column for Morning Quickie website which can be found here:

I have a Masters in Applied Science (Sexual Health) where I did research on sex education in schools and at home with parents and young people, as well as many counselling skills courses.

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I have worked extensively with young people under 25, people living with or affected by HIV, and parents.

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