Related Topics: Contraception, News

New Warning On Missed Contraceptive Pills

The UK’s Family Planning Association has welcomed new guidelines to simplify what to do if you miss a daily dose of your contraceptive pill.

AnnA Rushton

Current recommendations are complicated and confusing for women and health professionals alike.   The Family Planning Association (FPA)  has been working hard with the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRA) and pharmaceutical companies to draw up simplified recommendations on missed pills.

The new clear and consistent advice for women and healthcare professionals is expressed in easy to follow guidelines that replace previous conflicting advice.  They mean that women who have missed taking their pills should now receive the same advice wherever they seek information from, whether that is their doctor or a clinic.

New Guidelines:

For one missed pill:

* Take the last pill you missed now

* Continue taking the rest of the pack as usual

* No additional or emergency contraception necessary.

For two or more missed pills:

* Take the last pill you missed now

* Continue taking the rest of the pack as usual

* Leave any earlier missed pills

* Use an additional method of contraception for the next seven days

* If you have had unprotected sex in the previous seven days, you may need emergency contraception. Seek advice.

* If you there are seven or more pills left in the pack, finish the pack and have the usual seven day break. If there are less than seven pills left, finish the pack and begin a new one next day.

These recommendations apply to all combined oral contraceptive pills except Qlaira. Women taking this pill should seek advice from a health professional.  The FPA guidelines on missed pills are included in the leaflet ‘Your guide to the combined pill’ and for more information visit their website at

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