If you are less than 12 hours late with a pill, take it straight away. Keep taking your pills at the usual time. This may mean taking two pills in one day. Don’t worry – your contraceptive protection should not be reduced.
If you are more than 12 hours late with a pill, or you have missed more than one pill, your contraceptive protection may be reduced.
▪ Take the most recently missed pill as soon as you remember, even if it means taking two at once. Leave any earlier missed pills in the pack.
▪ Continue to take a pill every day for the next seven days at your usual time.
▪ If you come to the end of a strip of pills during these seven days, start the next strip without taking the usual seven day break. You probably won’t have a bleed until after you finish the second strip of pills, but don’t worry. If you finish the second strip of pills and don’t have a bleed, do a pregnancy test before starting another strip.
▪ Use extra contraception for seven days after missing a pill, such as condoms.
▪ If you have missed one or more pills from the first week of your strip (days 1 to 7) and you had sex in that week, you could become pregnant. Contact your doctor, family planning nurse or pharmacist for advice as soon as possible. They may recommend you use emergency contraception.
If you have missed any of the pills in a strip, and you do not bleed in the first pill-free break, you may be pregnant. Contact your doctor or family planning clinic, or do a pregnancy test yourself.
If you start a new strip of pills late, or make your ‘week off’ longer than seven days, you may not be protected from pregnancy. If you had sex in the last seven days, ask your doctor, family planning nurse or pharmacist for advice. You may need to consider emergency contraception. You should also use extra contraception, such as a condom, for seven days.