Contraception: What's the best thing to do if I miss a pill?

I take the oral contraceptive pill, but I am prone to miss pills. So far I have been lucky and not got pregnant. What is the best thing to do if I miss a pill?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

The most risky time for missing pills is at the beginning and end of the packet. If you miss your pill in the morning, but remember to take it at night, you will be fine. If you completely miss a pill for 24 hours, you should keep taking the pill normally as soon as you remember. But missing a pill for more than 24 hours means that you may not be fully protected, and you should use additional contraception, such as a condom, for seven days. If these seven days run beyond the end of the packet, you should start the next packet immediately, without having a break. If you miss more than two pills, you should use emergency contraception, which is a single pill that can be bought at the chemist without a prescription.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.