Q&A: Could My Girlfriend Be Pregnant If She Missed A Pill?

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QUESTION: I ejaculated inside of my girlfriend. She’s on the pill but was slightly off-schedule for a few days before that. We did not use Plan B. Should I be worried that she’s pregnant?

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Pill on Tongue

Photo: anitacanita (flickr.com)

Plan B – also called the morning after pill – is a highly effective means of birth control when taken within a few days of unprotected sex.

Great question! Many men and women who are having sex and who are not ready to be parents have questions about sex and pregnancy risk.

Types of Birth Control Pills

If your girlfriend took her pill every day, as directed, then she likely is not at risk of pregnancy. If she is using a combination birth control pill, which has estrogen and progesterone in it, then there is a larger window of time in which a woman can take her pill each day and not be at a high risk for pregnancy. Although it can be helpful to take the pill at the same time every day, it does not have to be exact for combination pills, which is the most common type of pill that women take.

On the other hand, if your girlfriend is taking a progesterone only pill then she would need to be more precise in terms of when she takes her birth control pill each day in order to maintain the effectiveness of the pill.

If she is not sure which pill type she takes or would like more information about how many hours she has to take the pill each day, she can call her pharmacist or healthcare provider for information about her specific pill type.

Plan B – “The Morning After Pill”

Plan B – also called the morning after pill – is a highly effective means of birth control when taken within a few days of unprotected sex. If it has been less than 5 days since you two had unprotected sex, you can ask your healthcare provider for more information about this option.

That said, it does not sound as though she was at a high risk of pregnancy if she uses combination birth control pills and takes her pill each day as directed.

Other Birth Control Methods

To further reduce your pregnancy risk and to enhance your peace of mind, consider using condoms during sex or pulling out before ejaculating and ejaculating somewhere else such as into a towel or tissue or on her stomach or back.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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