Back
healthwords.aihealthwords.ai
Cart
Search
article icon
article

Missed Pill : Advice for the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill

Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-AdamReviewed on 30.10.2023 | 3 minutes read
EmailFacebookPinterestTwitter

Contraceptives are used to prevent pregnancy. The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) is a type of contraception for women. The COCP is sometimes referred to as just the pill. It contains two hormones, oestrogen and progestogen. These hormones closely resemble the oestrogen and progesterone hormones produced by a woman’s ovaries. There are lots of different COCPs available. Some COCPs contain 21 pills which are followed by a seven-day break.

Other COCPs contain 28 pills, with seven inactive (dummy) pills at the end of the pack. You should try to take your tablets at the same time each day. If you do not take your pill within 12 hours of your regular pill-taking time, it is classed as a missed pill. Below we will look at steps you should take if you miss any pills.

Note the guidance in this article does not apply to Zoely, Qlaira, and Eloine. Remember, the advice only applies to missed active pills. If you miss any inactive pills, you can just disregard these pills.

What should I do if I miss one pill?

If you have missed one active pill from anywhere in the pack, you should take the pill now and take your next pill at your regular time (even if this means taking two pills on the same day). Then take the rest of the pack as usual. 

What should I do if I miss more than one pill?

If you have missed more than one pill, you should take the last pill you have missed now and take your next pill at your regular time (even if this means taking two pills on the same day). Leave out any other missed pills except the last one. Then take the rest of the pack as usual. However, if the pills were missed in the third week of the pack, you should not take a hormone-free interval (either your seven-day break or seven inactive pills). Go onto your next pack instead. You should also use condoms or avoid having sex for the next seven days. If you have missed more than seven pills in a row, you should restart the COCP. This means starting a new pack on the first day of your period.

Will I need emergency contraception?

If you have missed two or more pills from the first week of your pack and have had unprotected sex in the hormone-free interval or the first week of the pack, you should speak with your doctor or pharmacist. You may require emergency contraception.

When taking the COCP, what should I do if I vomit or have diarrhoea?

Vomiting and severe diarrhoea can stop the COCP absorbed into your body. If you vomit within three hours of taking the COCP, you should take another pill immediately. Then take your next pill at the regular time. Provided you do not vomit again, and you took your extra pill within 12 hours of your normal pill-taking time. You will still be protected against pregnancy.

However, if vomiting or severe diarrhoea lasts longer than 12 hours, you must take extra precautions. Continue to take your COCP as usual. However, you should also use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of your illness and for an additional seven days after the vomiting or diarrhoea has stopped. If your illness occurs during the third week of your pack, you should not take a hormone-free interval (either your seven-day break or seven inactive pills). Go onto your next pack instead.

Was this helpful?

Was this helpful?

Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed on 30.10.2023
EmailFacebookPinterestTwitter
App Store
Google Play
Piff tick
Version 2.28.0
© 2024 Healthwords Ltd. All Rights Reserved