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How do I change the time that I take my birth control pill?

If it is a combined hormone pill:

The easiest way to switch the timing of your pill is to finish out your current pack on your current schedule and then start the next pack at the new time.

If you can’t wait to move the timing of your pill, the next best way to do this is to move it to earlier in the day so that LESS than 24 hours elapse between doses. This will ensure that you do not have any lapses in coverage, and will not need a backup method to maintain your pregnancy protection. For example, if you take your pill every day at 11 pm and want to move it to 9 pm, you would take your last dose at the old time (11 pm) and then the next day takes it at the new time (9 pm.)

If you need to move the timing of your pill to later in the day and MORE than 24 hours elapse between doses, then you can just move it to the new time and use backup contraception for the next 7 days, to ensure you are fully protected from pregnancy. For example, if you take your pill every day at 6 pm and want to move it to 11 pm, you’ll take your last dose at the old time (6 pm) and then the very next day take it at the new time (11 pm). You’ll want to use backup contraception for the next 7 days to ensure you are fully protected from pregnancy.

 

If it is a progestin-only pill (POP):

Progestin-only pills are much less forgiving in what is considered a “missed dose”. The best way to move the timing of a POP is to just move the timing of the pill, and use backup contraception for the next 48 hours. So for example, you want to move the timing of your POP from 6 pm to 11 pm. You’ll take your last dose at the old time (6 pm) and the next day you’ll take your dose at the new time (11 pm) and use backup contraception for the next 48 hours.

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