Missed A Pill?

In the case of many, but not all, contraceptive pills, forgetting to take one pill, sometimes even two pills in a row, won\'t reduce your contraceptive protection. However, this depends on the type of pill you use. If you\'re not sure what to do in the case of a missed pill, the first step is to read the instructions on the slip of paper which you\'ll find inside the box of pills. If you still have doubts about your protection against pregnancy, or if it\'s extremely important to you not to take any risk at all, the only way to be 100% sure you\'re protected is to get the professional advice of your doctor. The guidelines given here are just that - guidelines.

You should try and see your doctor as soon as possible after forgetting the pill. He may recommend that you use emergency contraception, which is effective only within 72 hours (three days) of having sex. Until you see your doctor, use an additional method of contraception, such as condoms.

Combined Or Progesterone Pill?

The guidelines provided below refer to the combined oral contraceptive pill, which contains the oestrogen and progesterone hormones. If you miss a progesterone-only pill, your window of contraceptive protection is much smaller than it would be if you had been taking the combined pill. If you are more than three hours late taking a progesterone pill, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant.

Low Oestrogen Pills

One Missed Pill - If you\'re taking a low-strength oestrogen version of the combined pill and you\'ve missed only one pill, you probably don\'t need to worry about getting pregnant. (If you don\'t know what type of pill you\'re taking, check the instructions in the box of pills or ask your doctor.) Take the missed pill as soon as you remember, even if this means taking two pills on the same day or at exactly the same time. You don\'t need additional contraception the next time you have sex. Even if you\'ve had sex in the last few days, you don\'t need emergency contraception.

More Than One Missed Pill - If you\'ve forgotten to take two pills or more, you are at risk of getting pregnant. Here\'s what you should do:

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