Ask Hana

What Do I Do If I Miss My Contraceptive Pill?

Missed Your Pill? We’ve Got You!
What Is Hana?
What Happens If I Miss My Progestogen-Only Pill?
Missing Your Pill by More than 12 Hours
Sex and a Missed Pill
Our Top Tips for Remembering Your Pill!

Missed Your Pill? We’ve Got You!

Have you ever thought you’d forgotten something but you weren’t quite sure what it was? Sometimes things just slip through the net and people forget things – like their phone, their keys or their contraceptive pill.

You should take your pill at the same time every day. If you forget to take it, don’t panic. Read on to find out what you have to do if you forget your contraceptive pill.

What Is Hana?

Hana is a progestogen-only pill (also known as a PoP) which works by helping to stop ovulation (egg release) and also thickens the cervical mucus to help prevent unplanned pregnancy.

Hana is a third generation progestogen-only pill which contains desogestrel. Desogestrel has been used in contraception for over 40 years. When you take a desogestrel pill at the same time every day, it is more than 99% effective at preventing unplanned pregnancy. Find out more about Hana here.

What Happens If I Miss My Progestogen-Only Pill?

For your progestogen-only pill to work effectively, you need to take it at the same time every day, 365 days a year without a break between packs. The Hana pack contains 28 tablets. The days of the week are printed on the pack, and arrows show the order to take the tablets.

Every time you start a new pack of Hana, take a tablet labelled with the correct day. For example, if you start on a Wednesday, you must take a tablet marked with Wed. Don’t start with just any tablet.

It is really important to get into a routine with Hana and take it at the same time every day. If you do forget and it’s within 12 hours of when the pill should have been taken, take the delayed pill straight away and Hana will still be effective. 

Missing Your Pill by More than 12 Hours

Hana works by helping to stop ovulation from taking place and it also thickens cervical mucus to help prevent pregnancy.  Every time you take your pill, it works by boosting your progestogen levels so that ovulation stays suppressed. 

If you are more than 12 hours late, your desogestrel contraceptive pill may not be effective. If it’s been more than 12 hours, you should immediately take the forgotten tablet and take the next tablet at the usual time, even if it leads to taking two tablets in one day. If you’ve forgotten more than one tablet, take the most recently missed pill straight away and leave any earlier missed pills in the strip. Take your further pills as usual and use extra contraception (e.g. condoms) for the next 7 days. 

Missing tablets at any time in the cycle can reduce the efficacy of Hana and risk pregnancy but if you have missed one or more tablets in the first week of taking Hana and had sex in the week before missing the tablets, the risk you may get pregnant is higher. We advise that you ask your pharmacist for advice.

Sex and a Missed Pill

The million dollar question: can you still have sex if you miss your pill? Well, the answer is yes but you might need to take extra precautions! 

If you remember to take your missed progestogen-only pill within the 12-hour window, it will continue to be effective. This means you can use it as contraception when having sex. 

If you miss a pill by more than 12 hours, then you can still have sex. However, you should also use a barrier method of contraception, like a condom, for at least seven days to protect you against unplanned pregnancy.

“In some cases,” says Deborah Evans*, a pharmacist with over 30 years of experience, “You might have unprotected sex and then miss your pill window. If this happens, there is a chance that you could get pregnant. Because of this, it’s a good idea to visit your pharmacy as soon as possible. Your pharmacist will be able to discuss your options for emergency contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy.”

It’s important to remember that contraceptive pills don’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections. So if you are sleeping with a new partner or more than one person you should always use other forms of protection, such as condoms and dental dams.. You can also help yourself (and others!) by going for regular sexual health screenings.

Our Top Tips for Remembering Your Pill!

It’s important to get into a good rhythm with your pill so you remember to take it. Here are some tips for remembering to take your pill. 

  • Set a daily alarm on your phone.
  • Keep your pill in the same, easy-to-spot place, such as next to your bathroom sink. 
  • Take your pill in the morning so, if you forget, you have more time to remember to take it.
  • Get into the habit of taking your pill at the same time as another activity, such as brushing your teeth or doing your make-up. 
  • Carry a spare packet of pills in your coat or handbag. That way if you do forget to take your pill, you can do it on the go!
  • Wherever you chose to keep your pill make sure it is in line with the storage instructions on the pack.

And remember, in order to take your pill packs back-to-back you need to stay stocked up. You can buy Hana online or from your local pharmacy, so set a reminder on your phone so you don’t run out!

If you do miss your pill, the most important thing is to get back into your routine and to use additional protection if necessary. 

“Your pharmacist is there to support you,: says Deborah, “ So if you do miss a pill and are worried about what to do, don’t be afraid to ask.” 

*Deborah Evans does not endorse any products or brands.