If a woman taking oral contraceptives has missed one or more pills, then she can take steps to prevent pregnancy from occurring.


Determine how long it has been since the person missed taking the last pill.

• I assume this is = (number of hours since last pill taken) - 24


If the time missed is <= 12 hours, then the person should:

(1) take the missed pill now

(2) take the remainder of the pills as usual.


If the time missed is > 12 hours:

(1) take the most recent missed pill now

(2) discard any previous pills in the pack (going backward)

(3) count the number of pills left in the packet (going forward), after the most recent missed pill has been taken and the other pills have been discarded

(3a) If < 7 pills present, then complete the packet and start the next packet the next day, without a break.

(3b) If >= 7 pills present, then complete the pack and leave the usual 7 day break before starting the next packet.

(4) Use extra precautions for the next 7 days (condom, abstinence, etc.)



• This seems appropriate if the woman regularly keeps to her pill schedule and has inadvertently forgotten one, two or three pills. The more irregular the woman's compliance with the regimen, the more likely failure will occur.


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