For the most accurate advice, we recommend you read the information that comes in you contraceptive pill pack, because the instructions vary between one pill type and another.
For combined oral contraceptive pills (COCs):
It is considered a missed pill if you delay the dose by more than 12 hours. Check the patient information leaflet with the pack or speak to your pharmacist if you're unsure what is the time window before the pill loses efficacy.
If you miss one pill, take it as soon as you remember, even if you have to take two pills at one go. You will still be protected against pregnancy if you miss only one pill.
If you've missed two or more pills, real the patient information leaflet for advice on what to do, or seek your doctor's advice. When you miss two or more pills you will be at risk of pregnancy, so be sure to use condoms if you have intercourse in the next seven days and don't wish to become pregnant. If you had sex in the last seven days and you missed two or more pills, consider using a morning after pill.
For the progestogen-only pill (POP) or mini pill:
The mini pill is considered a missed pill if you delay the dose by more than 3 hours (or 12 hours if the active ingredient of your mini pill is Desogestrel). Unlike combined pills, you will be at risk of pregnancy if you miss even one mini pill. Take the mini pill as soon as you remember and then use condoms for the next 2 days. If you had sex in the last seven days, consider using a morning after pill.