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What is the missed pill rule when taking progestogen only pill (POP/mini-pill)?

If you are on a progestagen only pill containing desogestrel

then that each pill must be taken within 12 hours of the same time every day. Were you more than 12 hours late taking your pill?

If you are less than 12 hours late, then take the missed pill as soon as you remember and take your next one on time. You do not need to take extra precautions as the pill will still work, and you’ll be protected against pregnancy.

If you are more than 12 hours late, then take your missed pill as soon as you remember it, take the next one on time and keep taking the pill. Your contraceptive cover will be reduced and you should use condoms if you have sex after missing a pill or emergency contraception if you have already had sex after a missed pill. Once you start taking the pill again you will be protected after you have taken 3 pills at the right time.

If you are on a progestagen only pill containing norethisterone or levonorgestrel

then each pill must be taken within 3 hours of the same time every day.

If you are less than three hours late, then take the missed pill as soon as you remember and take your next one on time. You do not need to take extra precautions as the pill will still work, and you’ll be protected against pregnancy.

If you are more than three hours late, then take your missed pill as soon as you remember it, take the next one on time and keep taking the pill. Your contraceptive cover will be reduced and you should use condoms if you have sex after missing a pill or emergency contraception if you have already had sex after a missed pill. Once you start taking the pill again you will be protected after you have taken 3 pills at the right time.

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Dr Gillian Holdsworth headshot

This post was clinically reviewed by:
Dr Gillian Holdsworth Fettle's Managing Director, Medical Doctor and public health expert.

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