If you’re less than 12 hours late taking a pill, your protection from pregnancy doesn’t decrease. Just take the pill as soon as you remember and take any subsequent pills at the same time.
If you’re more than 12 hours late taking a pill, your protection from pregnancy may be reduced. And the more pills that you forget to take, the more likely it is that your pregnancy risk is reduced. This risk is greatest either at the beginning of a pill strip or at the end of a pill strip.
If you forget to take more than 1 pill in a strip, let our prescriber know, and they can advise you.
In week 1, if you forget to take 1 pill, take the pill that you’d forgotten to take as soon as you remember, even if it means having to take two tablets at the same time. Take any tablets that follow as you normally would, and use additional contraception like a condom for the next 7 days. If you’ve had sex during the week before you realised you’d forgotten a dose, or if you’ve forgotten to start a new strip following the 7-day pill free break, there is a chance that you could be pregnant. Contact our clinician and they can guide you on your next steps.
If you forget to take 1 pill in week 2, take the pill you forgot about as soon as you remember, even if it means taking two pills at the same time. Then take any pills that follow at the usual time. Your protection from pregnancy shouldn’t be reduced, and you don’t need to use any extra contraception.
In week 3, if you forget to take a pill, there are two options. The first is taking the forgotten pill as soon as you remember, even if it means having to take two pills at the same time. Take any subsequent pills at the normal time. But instead of taking a 7-day pill free break, start your next strip. There’s a good chance that you’ll experience a withdrawal bleed at the end of the second strip, and you may also get spotting or breakthrough bleeding during the second strip.
The second option is to stop the strip you’re on and start your 7-day pill free break, making a note of the day on which you forgot your pill. If you’d rather start a new strip on the day you started taking the pill, make the pill-free window less than 7 days.
Following either of these two options should keep you protected from pregnancy.
If you have forgotten any pills in a strip, and you don’t get any bleeding during the first pill-free window, there’s a possibility that you’re pregnant. Let our prescriber know before you move on to your next strip.