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Missed Contraceptive Pill

So, you have missed a pill? Don’t panic. Follow this advice if you’re late to take your combined contraceptive pill.

Note: if you take the mini pill (also called the progestogen only pill) or Qlaira, the advice is different and you should refer to the instructions in your packet. 

Contact your doctor or nearest Family Planning Tasmania clinic if you have any questions about a missed or late pill. 

If you are under 24 hours late 

Take the pill as soon as you remember, even if it means taking two pills in one day. Take the rest of your pills as usual and you will still be protected against pregnancy

If you are over 24 hours late 

Take the pill as soon as you remember, even if it means taking two pills in one day. Continue taking the pills but during this time the pill will not protect you against pregnancy. So for the next seven days, use another type of contraception such as condoms or avoid sex. 

PLUS

Which stage of the packet were you at? 

Days 1-7 (first seven hormone pills): take the rest of the packet as normal. It is possible to get pregnant if you had sex in the seven days before you forgot to take the pill. 

Days 8-14 (middle seven hormone pills): simply take the rest of the packet as normal. 

Days 15-21 (last seven hormone pills): take the rest of the hormone pills (if there are any left). Skip the inactive (sugar) pills and start your next packet without taking a break. 

When do I need emergency contraception? 

Emergency contraception works for up to five days after you have unprotected sex. Consider emergency contraception if you have had sex within the last five days and you: 

  • were more than 24 hours late to take a pill in the first seven days of the packet

OR

  • you missed two or more hormone pills in one packet.

If you have questions about contraception or if you think you might be unexpectedly pregnant, you can speak with one of our friendly doctors. Click here to find your closest clinic and make an appointment.

Useful documents

You might find these downloads helpful:

I missed a pill, what should I do?
How effective is my contraceptive method (efficacy)?

This content is provided for general information and education purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances. It is not to be relied on in substitution for specific advice from a medical professional and Family Planning Tasmania does not accept responsibility for such use. Family Planning Tasmania has taken every effort to ensure that the information is up to date and accurate, however information and knowledge is subject to change. Family Planning Tasmania advises that you always consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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