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Missed 4 Pills - Is This My Period Or Do I Need A Pregnancy Test?

Published: May 12, 2014
Dear Missed 4 Pills - Is This My Period Or Do I Need A Pregnancy Test?,

I've been on the pill for a couple of months now but in April I missed probably around 4 pills. I know my boyfriend came in me multiple times after my last period (4/11-4/15). But now I'm having brown spotting and have been spotting for 4 days now and it started 9 days before my period was supposed to come. Could this be my period or should I get a pregnancy test?


Dear Missed 4 Pills - Is This My Period Or Do I Need A Pregnancy Test?,

The chance of pregnancy occurring does increase for women who do not take the pill as directed. According to Planned Parenthood:

  • Less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they always take the pill each day as directed.
  • About 9 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they don’t always take the pill each day as directed.

Given the statistics it is possible that you are pregnant given the 4 missed pills. However, it is common to experience spotting or light bleeding as a result of missing a birth control pill – so it is possible that you are not pregnant and are just experiencing the spotting that comes along with missing a pill. Since FX cannot know for sure whether you are pregnant or not, we recommend calling the doctor who is prescribing you your pills as soon as possible so you can discuss your situation with him/her. If you are prone to forgetting your pills, you might also discuss with your doctor whether this is the best method of birth control for you going forward. You can also take a pregnancy test, which will be most accurate once your period is late.

For future reference, FX recommends reading Planned Parenthood’s explanation of What Do I Do If I Forget to Take the Pill? It will explain what to do depending on what type of pill you take. It also stresses that if you are ever unsure about what to do with missed pills, then always use a back-up method of birth control (such as a condom) until you are back on track with your pills.  

FX would also like to remind you that the pill does not protect against STDs. To protect against the transmission of STDs, please use a condom each and every time you have sex.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

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