Medical Questions > Womens Health > Birth Control Forum

Just out of curiosity, question about birth control.

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So I was thinking earlier today - how are the placebo pills any different than say, missing an active pill? It's dangerous when missing any pills with hormones, but then you come off of them for a week and if you've taken all your active pills, the placebo week is safe? How is that?

Missing 1-3 active pills - unsafe and need a back up, like a condom.
Placebo week - safe to have unprotected sex (well, as safe as being on the pill, yknow)


Just a random thought (:
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First Helper User Profile kristigraham

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replied June 6th, 2012
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It is a good question.

It is no different. That is why some women will start bleeding when they miss one pill. The difference is in the timing of the missed pill.

Missing an active pill is not dangerous, it is unsafe. Your normal hormone cycle needs to be suppressed for a certain amount of time before it will give up on ovulation. If you miss a pill, that does not happen and the level of hormones in your body drops and your own hormones can trigger ovulation. When you get to pill 21, your own cycle is so suppressed, that it will not trigger you are safe. After 7 days you do however haveto start again, or you will ovulate.
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