Topic Tuesday: Switching the time to take your birth control pill

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If you take birth control pills, your doctor likely emphasized the importance of taking it at the same time every day. Doing so not only makes it easier to remember but also makes the pill more effective.

However, life happens. Whether you're adjusting your schedule for a new job or just forgot to take your pill with breakfast, something might change your routine. Here's our advice:

If You've Forgotten Your Pill

If you've forgotten to take your hormonal birth control pill and it’s been less than 48 hours, we recommend taking that missed pill as soon as possible. Then, continue your next pill at the regular time, even if that means taking 2 pills in 1 day. If you’ve missed two or more hormonal pills, reach out to your doctor for guidance.

If you have difficulty remembering to take a pill (like most people do!) consider one of the Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) methods such as an IUD or an implant. LARC methods work to protect you from unintended pregnancy, even when you forget about them!

If You Plan to Switch the Time You Take Your Pill

If you're switching up your routine and want to take your birth control pill at a different time, we don't recommend you change it in the middle of a cycle.

For example, say you want to switch your pill time from morning to evening. The best thing to do is end your pack on the current time, and start your new pack at the time you now prefer. That way, you don’t need a backup birth control method. If you switch the time in the middle of a cycle, you will need to use a backup method of birth control, like condoms, until your next pack begins. Otherwise, you could get pregnant.

Have a question about how to take your pills? Schedule a visit from the comfort of your own home with one of our skilled telehealth providers today! Also, please ask your Telehealth provider about our program to mail birth control pills, emergency contraception, and condoms directly to your home!