The Best Time Of Day To Take Your Birth Control Pill

Hormonal birth control is a safe and effective way to prevent unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. In fact, birth control pills are 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy when taken correctly (via WebMD). This means that the likelihood of getting pregnant while taking birth control pills is less than 1%. However, this is only if you take it as directed, which means taking the pill around the same time every day. Taking birth control at random times can actually lessen the effectiveness of the pill and increase your risk of unintended pregnancy.

That's why it really doesn't matter what time of day you decide to take the pill, as long as you're consistent. Ultimately, the best time to take your pill is whenever it's convenient for you (via Bustle). If you need some help remembering when to take your pill, however, you can always set an alarm on your phone to remind you when it's time to take it.

There's leeway with combination birth control pills

While it's true that you should try to take the pill around the same time every day, you don't necessarily need to take it at the exact same time in order for it to still be effective (via Self). In fact, combination birth control pills — the most common type of hormonal birth control — offer some leeway. "Women should take them around the same time every day as a routine to increase compliance, but it will be okay if they take it any time later that day," Dr. Alexander Chiang, an assistant clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, told Self. "If you forget to take it until your head hits the pillow, it's fine. You can take it when you remember and sleep peacefully."

However, you shouldn't get too far off schedule. At the very least, you should try to ensure that you take one pill every 24 hours. Missing pills is one of the most common reasons why birth control pills fail. That's why it's helpful to stick to a daily routine. "If you take your pills with a normal routine, like before or after brushing your teeth, right before going to bed, with the morning coffee," Chiang said, "this will help reinforce the routine of taking a pill every day."