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Basic Instructions for Ogestrel and What to Do About Missed Pills

Basic Ogestrel Dosing Instructions

Starting at the beginning of the pack, take one tablet each day, at the same time every day. Each pack will last for four weeks (28 days). After you have finished one pack, immediately start a new one the next day. Do not let any days pass between packs, even if you are still having your period (this may take a little planning, as you will need a new pack on hand).
The first 21 tablets contain the active ingredients (estrogen and progestin). The last seven tablets do not contain any hormones. During this last week, your body gets a little break from the hormones, allowing you to have a period. There is nothing in these last seven tablets that makes you have a period, as some women believe. Instead, it is the break from the hormones (the hormone "withdrawal") that causes the bleeding.

What If I Miss an Ogestrel Dose?

It is important that you take Ogestrel every day and at the same time each day, even if you do not have sex very often. Missing pills increases the risk of pregnancy. What you should do if you miss any pills depends on how many you have missed, if you are a day 1 starter or a Sunday starter, and when in the cycle the pills were missed. If you are not sure what to do about missed pills, use a backup method of contraception until you can speak with your healthcare provider. Some general instructions include:
  • If you miss one of the first 21 pills (the active tablets), take the missed pill as soon as you remember and take the next pill at your regular time, even if this means taking two pills at once. You must use a backup method of contraception, such as condoms, if you have sex in the next seven days.
  • If you miss two pills in a row during the first or second week of the pack, take two pills on the day you remember and two pills the next day. This should get you back on your regular schedule. You must use a backup method of contraception if you have sex in the seven days after you restart the pills.
  • If you miss two pills in a row during the third week of the pack (or three or more pills in a row during weeks one through three), your instructions will vary, depending on whether you are a day 1 starter or a Sunday starter. If you are a day 1 starter, throw out the rest of the pack and start a new pack right away. If you are a Sunday starter, take one pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, throw out the pack and start a new one (this keeps you on track as a Sunday starter). Either way, you need to use a backup method of contraception for a week. You may not have your period as usual this month, since you skipped the pills that do not contain any hormones.
  • If you miss any of the last seven pills (the fourth week of the pack), throw away the pills you missed and continue as usual. Missing these pills will not increase your risk of pregnancy, as long as you start your next pack on time. No backup contraception is necessary.
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