I wear the birth control patch and I change it every Thursday morning. Well I had an audition Saturday morning…

…and I didn’t want to be on my period for it so I left it on.  Saturday morning me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex and now its two weeks later and I think I’m pregnant. Help, is it even possible? I need to know before I go and take a test.

First, let’s explain the process of skipping your period while on a hormonal method of birth control.

When someone is on a hormonal birth control method that contains estrogen, they can take it using something called “continuous use.” When someone continuously uses their method, what they’ll do is take their method for three months straight to only have a period four times in one year.

For example, if someone is on the pill, they will skip the week of placebo pills and start their next pack right away (avoiding the period or withdrawal bleed).

If they’re on the patch, rather than not having a patch on for a week when the period would usually come, they will start a new box of patches right away (to avoid getting the period).

If they’re on the ring, rather than not having the ring in for a week when they would usually get their period, they will start the next month’s ring right away.

Even though these are different methods, the process is the same.

You might ask yourself, is it safe to only have a period four times a year? The answer is yes! It’s okay for the lining of the uterus to build up for up to three months, but after that, you need to get rid of that lining. If you don’t get rid of that lining, infection and even hyperplasia (possible beginning stages of endometrial cancer) can form.  So this can be a really great way to only have a period four times a year, but it’s important to make sure you’re having that withdrawal bleed!

Teen Clinic would recommend that you talk this process over with your regular doctor before using your method continuously.

Now that we have the process and how it works out of the way, let’s talk about your situation.

In order to have used the continuous method (of still being protected from pregnancy while skipping your period) correctly,  you would have needed to put a new patch on, rather than keeping the old one on. The patch only has enough hormones to help prevent pregnancy for one week.

With that being said, if you had unprotected sex and didn’t use a condom, you could be at risk of pregnancy. The only way to know would be to take a pregnancy test 14 days after intercourse. After 14 days, you will know for sure.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, give us a call at 303-442-5160.