What if something goes wrong?

However hard we try, sometimes accidents can happen. Check out here what to do if something goes wrong with your contraception.

If something's gone wrong, and you're worried, but you can't find the answer here, you can get in touch with Ask Brook. Ask Brook is confidential. That means we won't tell anyone you contacted us unless we think you're in really serious danger.

If you need help in the evenings or at the weekend, you can contact:

  • Sexual Health Line on 0800 567 123. It's open 24 hours everyday.
  • If you are in England or Wales you could also call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 open 24 hours a day 
  • In Scotland you can call NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24 open 24 hours a day

Help! I used a condom, but it broke

If your condom broke, or came off, while you were having sex, you might need to take emergency contraception to reduce the risk of pregnancy. It's important to take emergency contraception as soon as possible, so try and get advice from a family planning clinic or Brook servicee (if you are under 25) or your GP as soon as you can.

You also need to be aware that you may have been at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV. Go straight to your local Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic to get tested.

Click here to find out where you can get emergency contraception and STI testing near you.

I've missed a pill and had sex, what should I do?

There are different rules about taking pills late or missing them, depending on which type of contraceptive pill you have used to protect yourself against pregnancy. You need to know which kind of pill you are using. It will either be the combined pill or the progestogen only pill.

If you are using the combined pill

If you have missed one pill, or if you have started the new pack one day late: you should still be protected against pregnancy so you should:

  • Take the last single pill you missed, as soon as you realise you missed it
  • Take the rest of the pack as usual (this may mean taking 2 pills in one day)
  • There is no need to use condoms as extra protection against pregnancy
  • If fewer than 7 pills are left in the pack, after the missed pill, finish the pack, then start a new pack straight away, missing out the 7-day break or placebo pills

If you miss two or more pills, you should:

  • Take the last single pill you missed, as soon as you realise you’ve missed it
  • Take your next pill at the usual time (this may mean taking 2 pills in one day)
  • Continue to take your pills as usual, leaving any earlier missed pills
  • Use condoms for the next 7 days
  • If fewer than 7 pills are left in the pack, after the missed pill - finish the pack, then start a new pack straight away, missing out the 7-day break or placebo pills
  • If you have had sex without a condom in the previous seven days, you may need emergency contraception. Seek advice.
      Contact Ask Brook
      or, if you need help after 7pm or at the weekend, you can contact Sexual Health Line (for all ages) on

0800 567 123

      or NHS Direct (for all ages) on

0845 46 47

    .
      If you are taking the combined pill

Qlaira

    and have missed a pill, the information in this section may not apply to you. You should seek advice from your Brook service, GP or family planning clinic.

If you are on the Progestogen only (POP) pill

There is a risk of pregnancy if you take a pill more than 3 hours later than your chosen time (or 12 hours if taking Cerazette) so you should:

  • Take the last 1 pill you missed, as soon as you realise you missed it;
  • Take your next pill at the usual time (this may mean taking 2 pills in one day);
  • You are not protected against pregnancy. Continue to take your pills as usual, but use condoms for the next 2 days.
  • Contact Ask Brook - you may need to use emergency contraception. If you need help in the evening or at the weekend you can contact Sexual Health Line (for all ages) on 0800 567 123 or NHS Direct (for all ages) on 0845 46 47.

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