Does It Matter What Time You Take Birth Control – Medical Review by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by the Pandia Health editorial team. Updated December 18, 2020
If you’re looking for a quick answer: with most combined birth control pills (those with estrogen and progesterone), although it’s recommended to take the pill as close to the same time each day as possible, you can have up to five days off. every once in a while and be cool – but definitely don’t do it regularly. Every moment we think once a month, not every day.
Does It Matter What Time You Take Birth Control
If you want more details on why this happens and how it changes with progesterone only pills, read on!
The Pros And Cons Of The Birth Control Pill
Almost everyone who starts the birth control pill wonders, “Do I really have to take it at the exact same time every day? People with a uterus are busy and the idea of a strict schedule can be stifling.
However, there are many variations of the pill, each with different hormonal compositions and mechanisms. Since everyone’s body, lifestyle, and schedule are different, what’s best for you may not be best for your boyfriend.
You and your doctor have the freedom to choose the type of birth control that works for you and your schedule. Skip the trip to the pharmacy and get your birth control prescription delivered straight to your mailbox, with or without insurance, contact us today!
If you would like to book a telemedicine consultation with Pandia Health’s specialist doctors, we can help you choose the birth control method that is right for you. Our doctors provide exceptional care to ensure you experience #PandiaPeaceOfMind with FREE delivery of the best contraceptive for your needs straight to your mailbox.
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On the regular combined pill (called combined because it contains the hormones estrogen and progesterone), you can take your medicine any time within five hours of taking it the previous day. For example, if you take the pill before you leave for work at 7 a.m. on Friday, but then sleep in on Saturday and don’t get it until 10 a.m., you’ll still be covered. You do not need to take the pill at exactly the same time every day if you are within five hours.
This means we recommend taking the pill as close to the same time each day as possible. Not only will this consistency make the pill more effective, but sticking to a schedule will make it easier for you to remember to take it every day. If you take the pill at the same time every day, there is a 1% chance of getting pregnant.
This is called perfect utilization. with incomplete use, whether you take the pill outside of that five-hour gap or skip the pill all together, your chances of getting pregnant increase. This is why you may see the effectiveness of the combined pill listed as 91%. In practice, most people aren’t perfect at taking the pill consistently, which leads to an increased risk of pregnancy.
Many people with a uterus want to start taking birth control pills right away. Once you have them in hand, you can take your first pill any day of the week or any time of the month, even if you have your period.
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Dr. However, Sophia Yen, CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health, suggests starting on the last day of your period for best results. this is about day 3 to 5 of your bleeding. This gives your uterus a fresh start and can potentially lead to less bleeding as your body adjusts to the new medication.
Contraception can also be more than just a method of contraception. You can also set #Periods Optionally with birth control. By skipping the last week of the birth control pack (aka sugar or placebo pills), you can eliminate your period for good. The leaks are gone!
Protection against pregnancy depends on when you start taking the pill and the type of pill you take. It’s smart to use a backup method of birth control, such as a condom, or to abstain from sex for the first seven days you’re on birth control while you wait for it to work and protect you.
If you want to be extra careful, you might consider using a backup method for the entire first month. It’s definitely better to be safe if you want to avoid an unplanned pregnancy! Dr. Yen recommends always using a condom to prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, HPV (warts), chlamydia or gonorrhea. Remember that birth control pills can help prevent pregnancy, but they won’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.
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If you are traveling between time zones, you should be extra careful to make sure you take the pill correctly at the right time. If you’re flying within the US, chances are you’ll be fine to take the pill at the same time as usual. For example, if you fly from California to New York and you usually take your birth control pill at 9:00 p.m. PST, you can still get it at 9:00 p.m. EST—in fact, you’ll get it three hours earlier!
However, if you’re traveling further afield, say from California to the UK, you’ll need to do a bit more math about the time difference. If you want to take the pill at exactly the same time as usual, you should take it at 5:00 GMT.
Although it is fine to take the pill any time within five hours before or after the usual time, occasionally taking it later can change its effectiveness, so it is recommended that you take it early or on time – 24 hours after the last pill. If the time change means you would take the pill at an inconvenient time for the duration of your trip, such as 5am, you can temporarily move the time back or forward three hours.
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Here are some tips about birth control pills and more information about using birth control while traveling. Let Pandia Health worry so you don’t have to!
If you are taking the progestin-only pill, which contains only progestin with norethindrone, you must take the pill at the same time every day. If you are just three hours late taking the pill, you must use a backup method, such as condoms, if you plan to be sexually active at any time during the next five days. If you had sex in the last 3 to 5 days before you missed taking the pill, you should consider using emergency contraception to be safe.
Sticking to this strict schedule consistently every day can be difficult. This is why Pandia Health doctors usually do not recommend this birth control pill. If you can’t take medications that contain estrogen or have trouble with the regular combined pill, the doctors at Pandia Health recommend a hormonal IUD, an implant, an injection, or a copper IUD. The advantage of these birth control methods is that you don’t have to remember to take something every day!
If you have a history of breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, or migraines with aura, among other medical conditions, you may need to use the progestin-only pill (POP) instead of the combined pill.
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There is a new POP called SLYND with a different progesterone known as drospirenone that is more versatile. However, it is much more expensive than regular POPs or regular oral contraceptive pills and won’t be the right choice for everyone.
If you’re not sure when is the best time to use birth control or want to explore other options, such as a hormonal IUD or an implant, talk to your doctor about the types of birth control available to you. If your doctor is not an expert in contraception, Pandia Health is here to help. Our birth control experts are available to prescribe you the best birth control.
At Pandia Health, we pride ourselves on providing expert contraceptive care. Our doctors prescribe birth control based on the “Pandia Health Algorithm,” which takes into account many factors, including age, race/ethnicity, BMI, and your personal medical history, which can affect which control method of birth is the best for you. !
While it’s best to take one pill every 24 hours, it’s also okay to take one pill a little less or a little more than 24 hours after taking the last one if you’re using a combination pill. However, taking the pill more than five hours late or skipping it altogether can increase the risk of pregnancy. If you are taking the progestin-only pill, you must take it at the same time
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