What actions should be taken for a missed or skipped oral contraceptive pill?

Updated: Oct 06, 2020
  • Author: Frances E Casey, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Analysis of data from the International Active Surveillance of Women Taking Oral Contraceptives showed higher contraceptive effectiveness for women taking the 24-day oral contraceptive pill regimen containing progestogen with a long half-life, under normal medical conditions. [11]

If a woman misses 1 pill, she should take her missed pill as soon as she remembers followed by her regularly scheduled pill. Women who have missed 2 or more consecutive pills should be advised to use a backup method of contraception and could require an emergency contraceptive method dependent upon cycle timing (especially during the first week of active pills).  If she is in the third week of active pills, she should continue the active pill through the placebo week.

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