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Birth Control: Getting Started and Best Practices

If I don’t take my pills at the exact same time every day, will they still be effective?

Last updated on September 1, 2020

The more regularly you take your pill, the more effective your birth control will be. If you keep moving the time you take your pill, the pill’s ideal 99% effectiveness rate decreases significantly. This is true for both combination and progestin-only pills, though progestin-only pills are even more sensitive to irregular dose times. Some methods that help remind people to take their pill on time include: setting an alarm on your phone, using a medication reminder app, and/or combining your pill time with another daily routine that doesn’t change much day to day (like brushing your teeth or making your first cup of coffee).

If you miss a pill, you'll want to make sure you follow the right steps to get your pregnancy prevention back on track. See "What do I do if I miss a pill?" below for more information.

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