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Missed a pill?

Lots of girls forget to take a pill sometimes. Or they have diarrhoea or are sick, so that the pill doesn’t work very well. What should you do? Read on.

Less than 12 hours ago?

Is it less than 12 hours since you should have taken the pill? Don’t worry! Just take the pill you missed. And take the next pill at the normal time. You'll probably take 2 pills in 1 day. You don’t run a risk of becoming pregnant.

More than 12 hours late?

Are you more than 12 hours late? Then there may be a problem if you’re in the first week of the pill strip. 

Pill missed in week 1

Have you forgotten to take a pill in week 1 but not had sex in the last 7 days? Just take the pill you missed and have sex with a condom for extra protection for the next 7 days.


Have you missed a pill in week 1 and had sex in the last 7 days? Then you should take emergency contraception, the ‘morning after’ pill, just to be sure. You can get this at a chemist or pharmacy. Read more about the morning after pill.

Pill missed in week 3

Have you forgotten to take 1 or more pills? There’s no risk of pregnancy. Now you have a choice: either have a pill-free week right now or skip the pill-free week completely and start a new strip straight away.

Vomiting or diarrhoea

Always read your pill’s instruction leaflet.

Have you vomited or had diarrhoea within 3 hours of taking a pill? Take another pill straight away. If the diarrhoea isn’t too severe, it won’t usually make the pill less effective. If the diarrhoea is watery, then the pill may not be absorbed properly. In that case, follow the instructions for missing a pill. And use condoms as extra contraception.


Are you taking an antibiotic? Read the instruction leaflet and perhaps also ask your chemist, doctor or Sense about the pill’s effectiveness. Antibiotics can have an effect on how the pill works.