Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What are the effects of skipping the 7 different colored (white) pills in my birth control pack?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat are the effects of skipping the 7 different colored (white) pills in my birth control pack?


I'm a thirty year old female. My birth control prescription is for Quasense, which makes me only have my period every three months. I don't take any other medications. I have occasionally missed some of the white pills, but I was wondering about the effect of missing them (that's normally when I'm on my period). Do the white pills really matter?


The birth control pills work by having you ingest a small amount of hormones everyday, which keeps ovulation suppressed and prevents pregnancy. Periods while taking the birth control pill occur when you stop taking these hormones, and every birth control pill pack has a series of pills that actually do not have any hormone in them. This is what the one week of white colored pills in your pack is.

See a doctor who can help

Find Primary care doctors near you

They do not contain any hormone in them, and so they allow you to have a period while you are taking them. In other words, you do not really need to take them; at least, not taking them does not affect your birth control. The reason that those pills are included in the pack (rather than just telling you not to take the pills for a week) is to help you not lose count and not get out of the habit of taking a pill every day. However, if you are able to keep track of where you are and you do not feel you are at any risk of missing any of the real (non white) pills then it is not a big deal for you to miss the white pills.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.