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I have missed one or more pill

Combined Oral Contraceptive pill (COC) - contains two hormones

  • If you miss one pill, carry on taking your next pill as normal.
  • If you miss two or more pills, you are not protected against pregnancy. You should:
    1. Take the last pill you missed now, even if this means taking two pills in one day.
    2. Carry on taking the rest of the pack as normal.
    3. Use condoms for the next seven days.

Progestrogen Only Pill (POP) – contains one hormone

  • If you are more than three hours late taking your pill (12 hours if you are taking Desogestrel POP)
    1. Take one pill now. If you’ve missed more than one, only take one.
    2. Take your next pill as your usual time. This may mean taking two pills in one day. This is safe to do.
    3. Use condoms for the next two days.
    4. How many pills are left in the pack after the missed pill?
      1. Seven or more - Finish pack, have the usual seven day break.
      2. Fewer than seven - Finish pack and begin new one the next day (This means missing out the 7 day break.

Regularly missing your pill? Fit and Forget methods of contraception may suit you better.


If you have missed a pill and need advice - please see our rules factsheet.

You can also use this Missed pill calculator. This tool can help you better understand what to do if you forget to take your combined or progestogen-only pill on time to ensure you take the right precautions after missing a pill.

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