Missed a Pill? Here’s what you do


It’s not an uncommon scenario.

The urgent phone call from a female patient who has just realised she’s missed taking her daily oral contraceptive. What should she do?

For the treating clinician dealing with this issue, it’s useful, first of all, to make the distinction between taking a pill late and missing it altogether, said sexual health physician Dr Terri Foran in a recent Women’s and Children’s Health podcast.

For the common combined oral contraceptive pill, the cut-off is 24 hours. If it is more than 24 hours since the pill should have been taken then the pill has been missed, anything less than 24 hours the dose is considered ‘late’. In progesterone-only pills the time frame is generally a lot shorter. For the most common ‘minipill’ – the ...

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