a worried woman covering her mouth with folded palms

I forgot to take my pill!

The pill needs to be taken every day at the same time to effectively prevent pregnancy. What if you forget to take it?

Did you know that forgetting to take your pill  increases its chances of failure? For the pill to work effectively, you need to take it as per the instructions provided for each pill brand.

If you miss a pill, what you need to depends on:

  • How many pills you have missed – 1,2, 3 …?
  • The type of pill you’re taking – progesterone-only or combined?
  • Where you are in the pack – For combined only – row of inactive pills or active pills (also called placebo or sugar pills)?

The first thing to do is to check the pill pack for specific instructions on what do if you miss a dosage. If you are confused, it is good to ask a doctor.

Generally, it is advisable that you take the missed pill(s) as soon as possible. This may mean taking two active pills on the same day. BUT remember that the pill should, or is designed to, be taken daily thus it is unsafe to make a habit of taking two or more pills a day because you forgot to take your dosage at the right time.

To get back on track, you need to also continue taking the rest of the pills as usual. You may need to use a backup method of protection, like condoms, for seven days just to be safe.

Remembering to take your pill

A great way to help you achieve perfect use, is to form a habit to help you remember to take your pill. Here’s what you can do:

  • Set reminders on your phone.
  • Put a reminder note somewhere you’ll see every day
  • Place the pills where you are likely to remember, like next to your toothbrush, by your bed, next to your phone or glasses
  • Put some extra doses in a bag/purse you use often so you can take your pill if you’re away from home
  • Use the pill box. A weekly pill box with compartments for each day and dosing time can be a visual reminder to take your pill and help prevent double doses
  • Take the pill with an activity you do at the same time every day e.g. drinking water
  • Record each dose you take.  You can do this by using the calendar. Each time you take your dose you tick the calendar 

If remembering to take your pill is too much hassle, there are other contraceptive options available for you. Make sure you have a discussion with your doctor on the option

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LoveMatters Africa

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