Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Missed your Pills? No Problem Lady!

Missed your Pills? No Problem Lady!

Missing your pills can be scary, especially so if you've missed your oral contraceptive pills. In all probability you'll lose your cool and bug your adjacent person and more interestingly his/her reassurance won't calm you down. You should be really serious while you're under contraceptive pills, because facts state that the improper usage of those pills is one of the main causes for unplanned pregnancies worldwide! Be worried if you've missed your pills but don't panic. I'll be giving you a comprehensive guideline on what to do in otherwise normal circumstances, if you by chance have missed your pills. Don't be scared, I'm not making you a guineapig for my evil experimentation; I'm merely simplifying and summarizing recommendations laid down by World Health Organization's Department of Reproductive Health and Reasearch. As there are different varieties of oral contraceptive pills in the market, we'll talk about missing the most commonly used one, i.e.- combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), one that contains combination of two hormones- an estrogen and a progestogen. Sounds familiar?
Missed your Pills? No Problem Lady!
Most of you COCP users are using pill packs marked with the days of the week as shown in the photo above. I know you're wise enough to know what you're taking but still for my self satisfaction I'd repeat one-two sentences on your COCP pack/strip. Pills marked with Day 1 to 21 are hormonal pills, also called Active Pills. Remaining 7 pills, i.e. those marked with Day 22 to 28 are non-hormonal pills, also refered to as Inactive Pills. We'll be using these two terms- Active and Inactive pills in the rest of this discussion. No Problem lady, this comprehensive guide on missed contraceptive pills will make you a smarter and much more confident woman to confront this missing-pills situation. But do not get confused, OK?

* Have you missed any One of those Active Pills?

No Problem lady: Relax, the world is not going upside down! Take that missed pill whenever you remember of missing it. Most probably you can't get late more than a day as the next day pill will surely remind you of your last day's carelessness, right? So, you can take both of them together, no worries at all. Continue the rest of the COCP course in the normal pattern, i.e. one pill each day.

* Have you missed 2-4 Active Pills between Day 1 and Day 7?

No Problem lady: Quoting from the previous solution, relax, the world is not going upside down! Take the first missed pill whenever you remember of missing it and discard rest of those missed pills to avoid further confusion. This may put you in a situation that you have to take 2 pills in the same day or even same time, but that is fine. Continue the rest of the COCP course in the normal pattern, i.e. one pill each day. BUT, abstain from SEX or use additional CONTRACEPTIVE protection for the next 7 days. You may ring your doctor to ask whether emergency contraception will be proper for you. Don't try it without a doctor's permission.

* Have you missed 2-4 Active Pills between Day 8 and Day 14?

No Problem: Quoting only the good part of the previous solution, take the first missed pill whenever you remember of missing it and discard rest of those missed pills to avoid further confusion. This may put you in a situation that you have to take 2 pills in the same day or even same time, but that is fine. Continue the rest of the COCP course in the normal pattern, i.e. one pill each day. BUT, brighter part is yet to be revealed, you can have SEX and that too without the need of any additional contraceptive protection!

* Have you missed 2-4 Active Pills between Day 15 and Day 21?

No Problem lady: Take the first missed pill whenever you remember of missing it and discard rest of those missed pills to avoid further confusion. This may put you in a situation that you have to take 2 pills in the same day or even same time, but that is fine. Continue the rest of the COCP course in the normal pattern, i.e. one pill each day. BUT throw away those 7 Inactive Pills and start a new COCP pack right from Day 22. Yes, having SEX shouldn't be an issue even if you don't take additional contraceptive measures.

* Have you missed 5 or more Active Pills in a row anywhere between Day 1 to 21?

No Problem lady: The previous solution rocks here as well! Take the first missed pill whenever you remember of missing it and discard rest of those missed pills to avoid further confusion. This may put you in a situation that you have to take 2 pills in the same day or even same time, but that is fine. Continue the rest of the COCP course in the normal pattern, i.e. one pill each day. BUT throw away those 7 Inactive Pills and start a new COCP pack right from Day 22. BUT, unlike the last situation, abstain from SEX or use additional CONTRACEPTIVE protection for the next 7 days. You may ring your doctor to ask whether emergency contraception will be proper for you. Don't try it without a doctor's permission.

* Have you started your new COCP pack 2 or more days late?

No Problem lady: Start your new pack and continue taking pills as you would do in normal circumstances. BUT, abstain from SEX or use additional CONTRACEPTIVE protection for the next 7 days. You may ring your doctor to ask whether emergency contraception will be proper for you. Don't try it without a doctor's permission. Was it anything scary?

* Have you missed 1 or more Inactive Pills between Day 22 and Day 28?

No Problem lady: Those Inactive Pills anyway don't have effect on your cycle, at most they are iron supplements and given in the pack to keep you in the habit of taking your pills regularly. So, continue taking the remaining Inactive pills in a way you were doing it before. Discard those missed pills and start your new COCP pack after the last one is consumed.

* Have you puked for any reason within 2 hours of taking a pill?

No Problem lady: If you're on Active Pills, quickly take another one despite your discomfort you might have. If you're on Inactive Pills then let it go.

It is wiser to maintain your personal pill taking schedule and make a habit of throwing away those remaining missed pills if there are more than one of course. OK, my blanket guide on missing pills is over and if you have read up till now, you should be able to handle 99% of missing-pill situations instead of getting depressed or hysterical about it. This should be kept in mind that any new user must start COCPs only after her doctor's recommendation. Self medication can be extremely dangerous and fatal anytime. COCPs contain hormones which makes your doctor reconsider several parameters before prescribing you. So, don't rely solely on your wiki-earned degree and play doctor-doctor game. This article dealt with combined oral contraceptive pills only, not progestogen only pills (POPs). If you need any advice on missing POPs you are most welcome to ask me. Thanks for reading this article.

6 comments:

  1. Gosh! I am amazed that you picked up this topic. I am super clueless about the pills so cant comment but I am sure fretting is no solution for any problem in life. Smile and move on..
    :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Parul... I think you are glad that I chose health topics... and I must say you're a powerhouse of positivity :-P

      Delete
  2. This proves there is a solution to every problem... :-P

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hehe..I can't believe you can writing this genre too. Good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just curious... Why? Do I have to take OCPs to be able to write on them? :-P
      Thanks Gitanjali :-)

      Delete

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