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Photography by Megan Madden; Prop Styling by Sara Schipani

If you’ve totally spaced and accidentally taken two birth controls in one day, relax — it’s really NBD.

Taking an extra birth control pill on the same day won’t have any serious health effects. We double-checked with an expert who’ll tell you what to do next.

Most likely nothing. Taking two birth control pills in one day won’t have any long-term health effects and probably won’t cause any symptoms.

The extra dose could cause you to feel a bit nauseous that day, but it’ll pass quickly. If you do feel nauseous, there are a few natural home remedies you can try, like eating crystalized ginger or drinking ginger tea.

As the saying goes, keep calm and carry on.

That means getting back on track by taking your pill as usual, according to Dr. Jessica Nouhavandi, a pharmacist and the co-founder and co-CEO of accredited online pharmacy Honeybee Health.

“Carry on taking the rest of your pills as you normally would, once a day at the same time every day for the remainder of the pack,” Nouhavandi says.

“You’ll reach the end of the pack sooner than before, but this won’t affect contraception.”


Let’s set up an example scenario and break it down:

  • You usually take your pill at 7:00 a.m. every day.
  • On Wednesday, you took your pill as usual, and, later that day, you also took Thursday’s pill. (D’oh!)
  • Thursday morning, you should take your pill as you normally would — in this case, that would be Friday’s pill.

That means your pills won’t line up with the date on the pack, and you’ll finish your pack a day early. No worries! When you finish your pack, just move on to the next pack like usual.

You don’t actually need a spare pack to make up the difference, because you’ll just continue taking your pills and finish the pack a day earlier.

Getting an early refill to start your next pack one day earlier shouldn’t be an issue, Nouhavandi says.

If you have insurance and, by chance, they give you any pushback, refusing to approve a one-day-early refill, you could pay out of pocket for an extra pack yourself.

Accidentally doubling up on your birth control one day isn’t cause for alarm, and it won’t mess with your period or protection against unwanted pregnancy. Just continue taking your pill as usual the next day to stay on track.

If you find you’re messing up your pill schedule regularly, try pairing your pill with another regular activity, like brushing your teeth or drinking your morning coffee.

If not, it might be a good idea to talk with your healthcare professional about other birth control options that you won’t need to think about daily, like an IUD or implant.

Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a Canada-based freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.