If you’re currently on birth control pills, you’ve probably heard that you ought to take two birth control pills in a day only if you missed a dose the previous day. But what happens if you take two pills within a day by complete accident?
In this article, we’ll be explaining when it’s right to take two birth control pills in one day, what to expect should you accidentally take two pills in a day, and what you should do the next day.
Here at Zoey, the birth control pills that we carry help to prevent pregnancy by preventing or delaying ovulation, keeping your endometrial lining thin to prevent any egg from implanting, and making your cervical mucus thick and impenetrable such that sperm can’t enter your uterus.
It is important to note that you are immediately protected from pregnancy only if you take your first birth control pill in the first 5 days following your last period. If you’re taking your first pill at any other point in your menstrual cycle, the pill will take around 7 days to fully take effect. During this time, it is highly recommended that you either abstain from sex or use another contraceptive method.
In Singapore, birth control pills can only be obtained with a prescription, and cannot be bought over the counter.
At Zoey, we provide a more accessible way to affordable birth control. Simply choose a birth control pill, complete an online evaluation, and have a licensed doctor on our platform speak to you at a time of your choosing. If prescribed, we’ll deliver your pills to you within 4 hours, at no delivery fee.
Taking birth control pills is actually a rather simple and fuss-free affair: Simply take one pill every day, at approximately the same time. Like most methods of contraception, the effectiveness of birth control pills depends on whether you are using them correctly.
With perfect use (i.e. taking the pill at the exact same time daily without fail), birth control pills can be 99% effective. However, with typical use (which happens when you forget or miss a pill from time to time), birth control pills are around 91% effective.
Should you at any point decide that you would like to get pregnant, simply stop taking your pills. While you may experience irregular periods when you first come off the pill, it is possible for you to get pregnant immediately after you come off the pill.
If you miss one pill, you will still be protected from pregnancy. As a general rule of thumb, if you missed a birth control pill within the last 24 hours, you should take the missed dose immediately. In some cases, this could mean taking two birth control pills in one day.
However, it is important to note that you are no longer fully protected from pregnancy if you happen to miss more than 2 pills, and you should refrain from unprotected sex during the next 7 days.
If you’ve just noticed that you missed more than 2 pills, and don’t want to take any chances, you can prevent unwanted pregnancy with emergency contraception, also available at Zoey.
At Zoey, Ella® (ulipristal acetate), the emergency contraceptive pill we carry, prevents unwanted pregnancy by suppressing and delaying ovulation to stop fertilisation from happening. According to data reports by the World Health Organisation (WHO), ulipristal acetate ECPs are considered the most effective morning-after pill with a 98.8% success rate at preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Ella® has been shown to work for up to 5 days after unprotected sex, and maintains efficacy with time. However, due to the time sensitivity of the situation, it is best to take the pill as soon as possible after unprotected sex.
Do note, though, that emergency contraception is not a replacement for regular birth control pills.
So what happens if you have to take two contraceptive pills in one day due to a missed pill, or if you do so by complete accident? In most cases, nothing will happen and there is no need to see a doctor. Taking two birth control pills in a day does not cause any long-term health implications, and you’re not likely to experience any symptoms either.
However, if you accidentally took more than 1 extra pill, you may experience nausea or slight vaginal bleeding. While such symptoms will not last for long, do seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe symptoms.
Following the day on which you took two pills, it is important that you carry on taking the remaining pills in your pack as per usual, at the same time every day. You will finish the pack a day early, but this isn’t an issue. Simply move on to a new pack as you normally would, and you will remain protected from unwanted pregnancy.
So let’s say you typically take a birth control pill at 9am every day, but accidentally took two pills today. You should nonetheless take a pill tomorrow at 9am, and continue doing so moving forward.
To sum up, you should only take two birth control pills in one day if you happened to miss a pill the previous day. However, even if you take two birth control pills in one day by complete accident, this is not a huge cause for concern– doing so does not affect contraception, and you likely won’t experience serious side effects either.
On the next day, simply carry on taking one pill a day at the same time each day, and you will remain protected from unwanted pregnancy. If you’ve run out and would like to obtain refills for your birth control pills, you may do so here at Zoey.
Simply choose a birth control pill, complete an online evaluation, and have a licensed doctor on our platform speak to you at a time of your choosing. If prescribed, we’ll deliver your pills to you within 4 hours, at no delivery fee.
Articles featured on Zoey are for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. If you're looking for a healthcare provider, click here.
Santos-Longhurst, A. (2021, June 3). Accidentally Took 2 Birth Control Pills? Here’s What To Do. Healthline. (Link)
NHS website. (2021, November 18). What if I take an extra contraceptive pill by accident? Nhs.Uk. (Link)
Forgot to Take Your Birth Control Pills? (2006, February 1). WebMD. (Link)
Emergency contraception. (2021, November 9). World Health Organisation. (Link)