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Does taking a birth control pill unintentionally out of order have an affect on anything as long as you take the pill?

It depends on what kind of pill you’re taking. Most combination pills — pills that contain both estrogen and progestin — come in 28-day or 21-day packs. Both these packs contain 21 “active” pills that contain hormones, but 28-day packs also contain up to 7 inactive pills, called “reminder” or “placebo” pills. Taking a pill out of order only matters if you use a 28-day combination pill pack, and you took an inactive pill instead of an active one.

If you took an inactive pill when you should have taken an active one, it’s the same as skipping a pill. You should take your active pill as soon as you remember, and then take your next pill at the usual time. This might mean you take 2 pills in one day. It’s possible to become pregnant if you have vaginal sex during the 7 days after missing 2 or more pills in a row, so you might need to use a backup birth control method — like a condom — for a week.

If you have vaginal sex before realizing you missed active pills, you can use emergency contraception as backup. Emergency contraception can help prevent pregnancy if you take it up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

Tags: pregnancy, birth control

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