Missed your pills?

For missed COMBINATION oral contraceptive pill, if you missed 1 hormonal pill (by 24 - 48 hrs) or you you are late taking 1 pill (for less than 24 hours):

  1. Take the late or missed pill asap and then continue taking remaining pills daily, even if that means taking 2 pills on the same day.
  2. No additional contraceptive protection (e.g. condoms) is needed. Emergency contraception (morning after pill) is not needed


If you missed 2 or more consecutive hormonal pills (more than 48 hrs have passed since you took a pill):

  1. Take the most recent missed pill asap and discard any other missed pills
  2. Continue taking your pills on schedule, even if it means taking a second pill on the day you remembered to get back on track
  3. Use back-up contraception (condom) or avoid sexual intercourse until you have taken the hormonal pills for 7 consecutive days
  4. If the pills you missed were in the last week of hormonal pills (e.g. days 15 - 21 for 28-day pill packs), omit the hormone-free interval by finishing the hormone pills in the current pack and starting a new pack the next day.
  5. If you are unable to start a new pack immediately, use back-up contraception (e.g. condoms) or stop having sex until hormonal pills from a new pack have been taken for 7 consecutive days.
  6. Emergency contraception (morning after pill) should be considered if hormonal pills were missed during the first week and unprotected sex occurred in the previous 5 days. It may also be considered at other times if appropriate


For missed PROGESTIN-ONLY pills (mini pills), if you get periods (even if you are breastfeeding) AND you have missed 1 or more pills by more than 3 hrs, you should:

  1. Take 1 pill asap
  2. Continue taking pills on schedule, 1 each day
  3. Stop having sex or use back-up contraception (e.g. condoms) for the next 2 days
  4. Emergency contraception (morning after pill) should be considered if - within the past 5 days - you have unprotected sex

If you are breastfeeding and aren't getting periods AND you missed 1 or more pills by more than 3 hours:

  1. Take 1 pill asap
  2. Continue taking 1 pill each day as usual

If you gave birth fewer than 6 months ago:

  1. No additional contraceptive protection is needed at this time.

For missed PLACEBO pills:

  1. Discard the missed inactive (non-hormonal) pill(s) and then continue as scheduled. Be sure to resume active pills on schedule. There should be no more than 7 consecutive active pill-free days between packs

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