Am I protected from pregnancy the week after the placebo pill week? I started my new pill pack on time (Sunday), but now I am freaking out! My boyfriend and I had unprotected sex on day 4 of my new pill pack. I have been on birth control for a year, could I be pregnant?

Great question! When the birth control pill is taken correctly, it is 99% effective against pregnancy. However, most teens don’t actually take the pill correctly because they don’t realize how important timing of the medication is. If the pill is not taken correctly, then it’s only 91% effective against pregnancy.  You’re probably wondering, what do you mean correctly? Well, what we mean by correctly is that you take your active pills at the same exact time every single day.

So, if you took the 21 pills before your break, correctly, then your break shouldn’t impact your protection against pregnancy. However, if there is any possibility that you took a dose late or missed a dose before your period break, there is a chance you could be pregnant. If it has been less than 5 days since unprotected sex, then you can take emergency contraception medication aka “morning-after-pill.” If you are outside the 5-day window, it is a good idea to call and schedule an appointment with your health care provider. Your HCP can help determine whether or not a blood test would be helpful in determining whether or not you are pregnant.