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This question is concerning birth control: if ovulation can occur after missing the pill a couple times, how does it not occur during the off week when you have your period on a 21 pill pack?


The answer lies in the awesome way birth control pills work. As you know, the pill has hormones that prevent ovulation and keep you pregnancy-free. In other words, the hormones in the pill stop your ovaries from releasing an egg (and thicken cervical mucus to stop sperm from moving).

When you stop taking in hormones during the placebo week (or the “off” week if your pack is only 21 days, when you get your period), the window during which you could ovulate is already passed. The key thing to remember is to start your next pill pack on time, and if you do the pill will keep working its magic. If you miss the beginning of your next pack, sex during your placebo week could lead to pregnancy, since that sperm can hang out for up to 6 days in your body.

-Emily at Planned Parenthood

Tags: birth control pills