Combined oral contraceptive pills

Advice for women missing combined oral contraceptive pills

1) If one or two pills have been missed at any time
OR
If one pill is missed when using a 20mcg pill (Loestrin 20, Mercilon or Femodette)

Take the most recent missed pill as soon as you remember and continue taking the remaining pills daily at the usual time – this may mean taking two pills on the same day or even at the same time

You should not require emergency contraception

2) If three or more pills have been missed at any time
OR
If two or more pills have been missed when using a 20mcg pill (Loestrin 20, Mercilon or Femodette)

Take the most recent pill as soon as you remember and continue taking the remaining pills daily at the usual time – this may mean taking two pills on the same day or even at the same time. You require to use condoms or abstain from having sex until you have taken pills for seven days in a row

BUT

Extending the pill free interval is risky so:
a) If the missed pills are in the first week of the packet – days 1-7
emergency contraception should be considered if you have had unprotected sex in the pill free interval or in the first week of pill taking

b) If pills are missed in the second week of pill taking – days 8-14
there should be no need for emergency contraception

c) If pills are missed in the third week of pill taking – days 15-21
miss out the pill free interval by finishing the pills in your current pack and starting a new pack the next day (ie run two packs together)