Birth Control Pill Container

What If I Missed A Pill?

Combined Contraceptive Pill (Oestrogen and Progestogen Combination)

If you are on the combined contraceptive pill and you missed a pill, what you need to do depends on:

a.       How many pills you have missed (you have missed a pill when it is more than 24 hours since you last took a tablet).

b.       When you missed your pill (where you are in the pack).

Missing two or more pills can make your pills less effective at preventing pregnancy.

What if I missed one pill?

If you missed one pill anywhere in the pack or started a new pack one day late, you’re still protected against pregnancy. You should:

  • Take the last pill you missed now.

  • Carry on taking the rest of the pack as normal.

  • Take your 7-day pill-free break as normal or, if you are on an Every Day pill (28 pills per pack), continue taking your inactive pills.

  • Extra contraception is not necessary.

What if I missed two or more pills?

If you missed two or more pills anywhere in the pack or started a new pack two or more days late (48 hours or more), your protection against pregnancy may be affected. You should:

  • Take the last pill you missed now.

  • Carry on taking the rest of the pack as normal.

  • Use extra contraception such as condoms for the next 7 days.

When you start your next pack after missing two or more pills:

  • If there are 7 or more pills left in the pack after the last missed pill, finish the pack

What if I am not sure?

In any case, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist for further advice but in the meantime, you can continue to take the pill and it will be advisable to use another method of contraception (e.g. condoms).

Progestogen-only Pill’

Less than 3 hours late

  • You are still protected against pregnancy if you are on a traditional progestogen-only pill and you are less than 3 hours late taking the pill.

  • You should continue to take the missed pill as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at the usual time

  • Use of extra contraception or emergency contraception is not necessary.

More than 3 hours late

  • You are not protected against pregnancy if you are on a traditional progestogen-only pill and you are more than 3 hours late taking the pill.

  • You should take the pill as soon as you remember, but only take one pill, even if you have missed more than one.

  • Take the next pill at the usual time.

  • Carry on taking your remaining pills each day at the usual time.

  • It is advisable to use extra contraception (e.g. condoms) for the next two days (48 hours) after you remember to take the missed pill

  • If you have unprotected sex during these two days, emergency contraception may be necessary. It is important that you seek the advice of your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

The information contained in this site is for general information purposes only. For further information regarding the contraceptive pill you are taking, please refer to your respective contraceptive pill product leaflet or refer to your healthcare professional.

 

 

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