I have missed a pill - what do I need to do?

Dr Louisa Draper

"It is important that you follow the instructions in the patient leaflet when you have missed a pill. You may need to use a condom or consider taking a morning after pill."

Dr Louisa Draper

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The contraceptive pill is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy if you take it as advised. But mistakes happen and sometimes you may forget to take your pill at the right time. It can be confusing to work out what to do when you have missed a pill. Our simple guide will help you understand whether you are still protected and what you need to do.

This depends on the type of pill you are using. Combined pills which contain oestrogen and minipills (which only contain progesterone) have different rules with regards to missed pills.

You should also bear in mind that the same rules apply if you vomit or have severe diarrhoea after taking your pill (read the patient leaflet of your pill the time frames for this, which differ between pills).

Avoid missing your pill - Top tips

  1. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take the pill - that way you are less likely to forget it.

  2. Take the pill at the exact same time every day, this will help you settle into a routine of taking it.

  3. Make sure you keep it at hand, so you don’t have to search for it. This will help you avoid delays.

  4. Make sure you get a new pack well before the previous runs out. If you don’t have time to see your GP, you can order your repeat prescription and your next course from Superdrug Online Doctor and have it delivered.

  5. Read the patient leaflet of your pill and make sure you know how to proceed when you miss a pill. Always ask a pharmacist or doctor if you are unsure.