Birth Control/Missed Pill



Usually I take my pill at 6pm every day. Yesterday my boyfriend and I had sex without a condom around 1pm. I woke up this morning (the day after) and realized I didn't take my pill the night before. How at risk am I for pregnancy? My period is supposed to start in about 3-4 days

Hi Devon,

Thanks for your message. You say you forgot to take your pill at 6pm as usual, and earlier in the day you had had sex. You are now wondering about your risk of pregnancy.

You don't say which pill you are on, but if you are on a combined pill (including both an estrogen and a progesterone) then you are still protected from pregnancy. If you took the pill as soon as you woke this morning when you realized you forgot it, then you are fine.

As long as you only forget 1 pill, and take it as soon as you remember, then pregnancy is not a risk.

You can read more about the missed pill guidelines here:

Hope this helps,

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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