Birth Control/Alesse


Hi there,
I'm currently on vacation and am going to run out of birth control pills right before I return to my home. I wanted to skip my period this month because I am going to a friends beach house when I return home. If my pack runs out on saturday, june 15th and I don't have access to another pack until Tuesday June 18th is it okay to just double up my pills Tuesday and Wednesday the way I would if I missed a pill normally? Or does this method not work when skipping a period? I know that normally if you double up pills you should use another method of contraceptive for a week - does the same apply here? I am taking Alesse 20mcg/100mcg if that helps.

Hi A,

Everyone is different, but my initial reaction was surprise that you wouldn't automatically start your period between the 16th and the 18th - but if your body can be without active pills for that long, there's no reason for you not to skip your period if you want to.

I checked out a prescription info website for their specific instructions regarding Alesse  and skipped pills and according to them if you miss two active pills in the first and second weeks - double up.

If you miss two the third week they say you should throw out the rest of your pack and start a new one. I'm wondering though, if they're not telling you to double up because there might not be enough active pills left in the pack to cover the skipped doses and to suggest double doses from a new pack would cause the pills not to match the days of the week, as well as shorten the pack. In any case, here's the website if you want to read for yourself:

Personally, If not having the correct days of the week match your pill wont confuse you, I would probably double up to be safe. The point is to not have your hormone levels ever drop to a point that is low enough to allow ovulation.

However, whichever way you choose you're right in suggesting that you use another form of contraception for at least 7 days. It definitely applies here.

Have a good vacation,


Birth Control

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Julia Fout


I can answer questions pertaining to how to choose and acquire contraception, how to talk to parents, doctors and partners about birth control, emergency contraception, missed periods, breakthrough bleeding,and how to use all methods correctly.


I am working towards my Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Health Behaviors and Health Education. The advice I provide is based on the most recent scholarly research in the areas of health, adolescent development, sex education and the promotion of healthful sexual behaviors. I want to be able to provide teens with relevant, practical, fact-based information so they're well equipped to navigate tough choices and confusing situations.

ECU, the Brody School of Medicine, Department of Public Health

BA in Psychology/minor in Education
MPH Candidate

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