A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control



Answered Questions

In the years since SmartSexResource launched, we have developed a library of questions asked by you, and answered by our expert sexual health nurses.

Our answered questions library cover a broad range of sexual health topics and common questions we hear at our clinics.

Contraception and Pregnancy (59)

Hi I am taking the alesse birth control pills and the last pill I took was on Friday before I left my house then I went on a trip on the weekend with family unexpectedly so I’ve missed my pills for 3 days & today is the 4th day …. What should I do? I haven’t been sexually active before or even during the time I missed those couple pills

Hi, thanks for your question. If you have missed 3 of the hormone pills, you may get some spotting or bleeding  as the hormone level has lowered. Depending on what part of the pill pack you missed the pills here  is the recommended advice from Alesse. If you still have the paper insert that comes with your pill pack, you may find this advice written there. If you are in British Columbia, you can also call the 1-800-SEX-SENSE line to speak to a nurse with any questions about contraception. 

If you MISS 3 OR MORE pink “active” pills in a row (during the first 3 weeks)
• If you are a Day 1 Starter: THROW OUT the rest of the pill pack and start a new pack that same day.
• If you are a Sunday Starter: Keep taking 1 pill every day until Sunday. On Sunday, THROW OUT the rest of the pack and start a new pack of pills that same day.
• You may not have your period this month but this is expected. However, if you miss your period 2 months in a row, call your health-care provider because you might be pregnant.
• You COULD BECOME PREGNANT if you have sex in the 7 days after you restart your pills. You MUST use a nonhormonal birth-control method (such as condoms or spermicide) as a back-up
• for those 7 days.

If you forget any of the 7 light-green “reminder” pills in Week 4
• THROW AWAY the pills you missed.
• Keep taking 1 pill each day until the pack is empty.
• You do not need a back-up nonhormonal birth-control method if you start your next pack on time.


Hi, I am 15 years old and I had sex without protection 3 times within like 2 hours. My boyfriend came inside me every time and I’m not on birth control but I have the plan b pill. Will it be effective because I have taken it around 3 times…I’m worried that the chances of getting pregnant are really high. Could uuou please let me know. Thank you so much


Thanks for your question.

Having unprotected sex without being on birth control can lead to pregnancy. It’s difficult to say what the exact chance of getting pregnant is, as this will be different for different people. However, the more times you have unprotected sex the higher the chance of getting pregnant.

If you’re able to take Plan B that sounds like a good idea. You can take Plan B up to 5 days after sex. Even if you’ve taken it before, Plan B does not loose its effectiveness. You can take Plan B as many times as you need to.

Plan B is not 100% effective. That means even when you take it there is still a chance to get pregnant. Taking Plan B lowers the chance of getting pregnant, but in case you miss your next period we recommend getting a pregnancy test.

I also wanted to say… Having to rely on Plan B can be stressful, and it might be a good idea to think about using birth control on a regular basis. Birth control doesn’t have to be condoms, there are lots of options for people, including youth. Also, youth can access birth control without their parents knowing. Starting regular birth control might help you feel less worried and more “in control”. But if that’s not something you’re interested in now then don’t worry about it.

Lastly, another option for emergency contraception is getting an IUD. IUDs can stop pregnancy up to 7 days after sex and are more effective than Plan B. Check out EmergencyIUD.com to find a place to get an emergency IUD near you.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to write again if you haver any other questions.

Health Nurse

Hi I’m curious about going on Birth control. How does it work and whats the procedure? Also, is it 100% effective and is it possible to skip my period with it?


Thanks for writing.

There are lots of different options when it comes to birth control. Some methods of birth control allow you to “skip your period” and other methods allow people to keep their period as normal.

No birth control method is 100% effective, but many are between 90-99% effective, which is still very effective! 

The process for getting birth control (no matter what kind you choose) usually means going to a clinic and getting a prescription from a doctor or nurse. If you have a family doctor that you feel comfortable talking about birth control with then you can see them. Other options include going to a walk-in clinic, youth clinic, or Options for Sexual Health clinic. Options for Sexual Health clinics specialize in birth control and have the most kinds of birth control available.

To find an Options for Sexual health clinic near you check out their Clinic Finder.

Options for Sexual Health also has a phone line you can call to talk through various birth control methods. The phone line is private and confidential, here is the information for it:

Call us at 1-800-SEX-SENSE (1-800-739-7367) throughout BC* or 604-731-7803 in the Lower Mainland. Hours: Monday – Friday 9am-9pm.

Generally the kinds of birth control that allow you to skip periods are: Birth control pills and IUD with hormonal component, but there are multiple options for kinds of birth control pills and hormonal IUDs.

Hope this helps!

Please feel free to submit another question if you need

Health Nurse



Can the clinic in anyway help prevent/ stop a pregnancy if i am not sure if im pregnant?


It really depends on your personal situation. I would recommend calling the sex sense line on 1-800-739-7367 or 604-731-7803 and discussing your situation. All your information is confidential and they would be able to discuss your options with you. It seems like you may need a pregnancy test or some emergency contraception.

Many clinics and pharmacies can provide the emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill) up to 5 days after someone had unprotected sex.

There are also other emergency contraceptive methods that can be used in BC Canada to prevent pregnancy. Have a look at the Options for Sexual Health Emergency Contraception Fact Sheet for additional methods.

If someone is already pregnant there are a few options available to stop this. Willows Women’s Clinic in Vancouver offers surgical and medical abortions. Have a look at their information page on Choosing Between surgical and medical abortions for additional information about these procedures.

Let us know if you have any more questions or concerns.

Health Nurse

I just got my birth control pills and i was told they were suppose to help me have lighter periods but my period has now gone on for 8 days and I’m not sure when it will stop. Usually my periods are only 5 days long but this time they are light but much longer than usual. is this normal?


Thanks for writing. Without knowing more about your medical history and the pills you’re taking it’s hard to give a specific answer, but I can give some general information.

Changes to the menstrual cycle and/or spotting are the most common side effects of hormonal birth control pills, and can be normal. These side effects are especially common in the first few months of starting birth control, as your body adjusts to the new medication.

Spotting (or bleeding between periods) is usually a smaller amount of the blood than what is seen on a typical day during your period. It may be that you’ve had your regular period for 5 days, and now 3 days of spotting? If you can comfortably manage the spotting we would recommend continuing with the birth control as this will likely settle down soon.

If you feel that you are bleeding more than just spotting (that is, if you are having a larger amount of blood come through even after your period) we would recommend going to talk to the doctor/clinic where you got the medication. Some of this bleeding can be normal, but it is still good to make sure. The doctor/clinic that gave you the medication will be able to talk to you more directly about the side effects you’re experiencing.

Please let us know if this answers your question, or if you need any other information.

Health Nurse

I have to do my PAP for the first time in Canada. I am from another country. Would I be tested for any STI too? If yes, which STI would it be?


Thanks for writing.

The PAP test (or PAP smear) is a routine cervical cancer screening test. In British Columbia, women aged 25 and over are encouraged to get a yearly PAP test to screen for early, pre-cancerous changes to the cervix.

When women get their PAP test done they can ask for STI screening as well, but it is not done automatically. The PAP is done by swabbing the cervix and STI testing can be done by swabbing the vagina.

The STIs than can be tested for in the vagina are: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomoniasis.

Other STIs, such as HIV and Syphilis, require a blood test.

Note: If you are having symptoms of an STI (for example: unusual vaginal discharge, painful urination, bleeding between periods) then should you wait to have your PAP test done. If you get your PAP done while you have an STI it can affect the results.

Both PAP and STI testing can be done with your family doctor, at a walk-in clinic, or at an STI clinic. Check-out our Clinic Finder to find an STI clinic near you.

Hope this helps,

Health Nurse

I was meant to get my depo shot on the 14 but I’ve been told before I should be good for 2 weeks after ??


When getting the Depo-Provera injection, you need to return in 11-13 weeks for you next shot. We usually tell the person to come in at 11 weeks so they have a 2-week buffer in case anything comes up. If its over 13 weeks since you had your injection you would need to use another method like condoms until you were able to make it in.

You can also call the options for sexual health sex sense line on 1-800-739-7367. They specialise in birth control and could speak to you about your specific situation e.g. what date was your last shot.

Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

Hi, do you know where they offer IUD emergency contraception?


If you’re in Vancouver you can go to the Willow Women’s Clinic, or Everywoman’s Health Centre, or Elizabeth Bagshaw Women’s Clinic.

If you live in BC (but not in Vancouver) you can go to emergencyIUD.ca and search by your city/town for a list of clinics near you that offer emergency IUD insertion. 

If you live outside BC contact a Planned Parenthood or abortion clinic near you. Or you can submit another question/comment telling us the name of your city/town and we can try to find a clinic for you.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to comment below if you need any clarification.

Health Nurse

Where can I get an idu in Kamloops?


Thanks for your question.

There are a few different doctors in Kamloops who can insert IUDs. 

The best way to get in touch with these doctors is to call the Kamloops Youth Clnic at (250)-851-7300, and ask for the Youth Intake Nurse. The nurse has a list of doctors that do IUD insertions, and the nurse can give you their names and phone numbers over the phone.

Also, you do not need to be a youth to call that clinic.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you need any additional information.

Health Nurse

my boyfrnd withdrew his penis before ejaculation….also this was his first release that day……we did not do it again………..is there still a chance that i could get pregnant??

Hi, thanks for your question. Withdrawal is a method of contraception that is practiced all over the world and can be highly effective when it is used the way you describe. It is never considered to be absolutely 100 % effective however so there is always a possibility of pregnancy. Here is the link to the Optionsforsexualhealth.org fact sheet on withdrawal.
If you are concerned about becoming pregnant, then you can take Plan B, the emergency contraceptive pills within 5 days of the sex you had.  Plan B is available for free at youth clinics or can be bought over the counter at pharmacies like Shoppers Drug Mart for about $35.
Hope this helps. Health Nurse