On birth control, late period- when to freak out?

No, no, I haven’t switched teams.

I’ve got a friend who is on the pill and is sexually active. She’s currently into day three of the green pills (the inactive ones with no hormones in them) and hasn’t had a period yet.

I’m afraid that this is completely out of my frame of reference and the web isn’t being helpful- assuming that she’s been pretty good about taking the pill (and she says she has) at what point should she actually start worrying about pregnancy?

How long has she been on the pill? She should have used a back up protection method for the first month. After that she will have to figure out what is normal for her body.

I take my first inactive pill on Sunday night. Usually my period starts on Wednesday which is day four. Sometimes it doesn’t start until Thursday or starts a day early on Tuesday. It seems to depend on my stress level - more stress = earlier period.

If she has taken the pill like she is suppose to (about the same time everyday), isn’t on another drug that would counter act it (like antibiodics) and hasn’t vomited soon after taking a pill then she is probably fine. The birth control pill has a very low failure rate when taken correctly.

I wouldn’t worry until Friday or Saturday. And, even then she is probably fine but could take a home pregnancy test just to ease her mind.

Here’s another saying don’t worry. Usually I don’t get my period until the wednesday or thursday after the last active pill. I think that is normal for most, if not all women on the pill.

I assume she’s new to the pill because she should know what’s normal for her. I take my first inert on Sunday and my period starts on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. I’ve noticed that if I had any spotting during the month (usually because I was late taking a couple pills), my period will start later. I agree with In Conceivable - no need to worry until Friday or Saturday.

Have to admit, I was wondering…

Anyway - if she’s really worried, she can just take a pregnancy test. But, there’s really no need to worry, for some women, the pill nearly erases their periods altogether, she might be one of them. (She also might start at any time during the week, including day 6 or 7 of the green pills).

Yep, on one particular brand I almost stopped having periods all together, which is a little disconcerting.

Have her take a home test if it’s worrying her. If she was good about taking her pills every day at the same time, there’s is a very, VERY small chance she could have gotten pregnant. The pill is something like 99.6% effective when taken as directed.

When I was on the pill my periods arrived on Thursday afternoon of green pill week. If I were her I would wait until the weekend before beginning to worry, though the first month I was fairly worried (and would have been more so except I didn’t have sex until the Sunday night of green pill week). My periods got drastically shorter as well.

Yes, the instructions say two to three days. But Sunday to Thursday…that’s five, and I never had a serious worry after the first couple of months. If she’s worried for ANY reason at any time there is no reason not to use a condom or something else as backup. I didn’t trust the pill alone at first, and getting pregnant could be medically dangerous for me so I am DAMN paranoid.

I start the green pills on Saturday and get my period on Thursday. As for not worrying, you can also miss a period on the pill and not be pregnant. Especially if she is new to this pill, or has any undiagnosed condition like Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. I would also vote that a home pregnancy test is a good idea. They are reasonably accurate and can keep you from freaking out for a whole month for nothing.

Like EJsGirl, I get very light (if any) periods while on certain pill perscriptions. And when I do get them, it’s almost always on day 4 of the inert pills.

Of course, I never get my period when I’m stressed. And being worried about pregnancy is a big stresser! So tell her to get a pregnancy test if she’s at all worried. Then, if she’s not pregnant and still not getting her period, have her call her perscribing physician and see if it’s normal to miss while on that perscription.

I really don’t mind missing the darn thing. But my doctor wants me to keep getting them so at least I’ll know if I miss that something could be wrong.

Thanks for the reassurances, all. I must admit that my knowledge of safe sex doesn’t particularly extend to “the responses of the female body when the pill might or might not be working.”

Another thing to check on: If she’s missed any pills or taken then at random times, it can affect the hormone buildup . . . I did that one month and didn’t start my period until the day I was meant to go off the placebo again.