Contraception guide

What should I do if I miss a pill (progestogen-only pill)?

This advice is about the progestogen-only pill (POP), or mini pill. For advice about the combined contraceptive pill, see What should I do if I miss a pill (combined pill)?

Less than three hours late (or less than 12 hours late for Cerazette)

You are still protected against pregnancy if:

  • you're on a traditional progestogen-only pill, such as Femulen, Micronor, Norgeston or Noriday, and you're less than three hours late taking your pill
  • you're on the Cerazette progestogen-only pill and you're less than 12 hours late taking your pill

What you should do:

  • take the missed pill as soon as you remember
  • take the next pill at the usual time
  • you don't need to use extra contraception
  • if you've had unprotected sex, you don't need emergency contraception

More than three hours late (or more than 12 hours late for Cerazette)

You're not protected against pregnancy if:

  • you're on a traditional progestogen-only pill and you're more than three hours late taking your pill
  • you're on Cerazette and you're more than 12 hours late taking your pill

What you should do:

  • take a pill as soon as you remember  only take one, even if you've missed more than one pill
  • take the next pill at the usual time  this may mean taking two pills on the same day (one when you remember and one at the usual time) or even at the same time (this is not harmful)
  • carry on taking your remaining pills each day at the usual time
  • use extra contraception such as condoms for the next two days (48 hours) after you remember to take your missed pill, or don't have sex
  • if you have unprotected sex during these two days, you may need emergency contraception  get advice from your GP or contraception clinic

Where to get advice

If you're not sure what to do, you can get advice from:

  • a contraception (family planning) clinic
  • an NHS walk-in centre
  • FPA (formerly the Family Planning Association) 
  • a GP
  • a pharmacist

Find sexual health services near you, including contraception clinics.

Find pharmacists near you.

Find GPs near you.

Page last reviewed: 15/07/2014

Next review due: 15/07/2016

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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

monkeyshines said on 25 October 2013

The actual Cerazette website suggests using extra protection for 7 days after a missed pill, not just 3. http://www.cerazette.co.uk/113/What-if-you-forget

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Media last reviewed: 11/07/2013

Next review due: 11/07/2015