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Why Does Time of Day Matter When Taking Birth Control Pills?

When taking birth control pills, timing controls the levels of hormones in the body. When they are taken the same time daily, hormone levels stay even with no dips and no break in coverage.

Combination Birth Control Pills

Combination birth control pills (estrogen and progestin) remain effective as long as you take the pill daily. The advice to keep the same dosage time works to form a habit of taking the pill to prevent the likelihood of forgetting.

Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills

Progestin-only pills are only effective if taken within three hours of your dosage time each day. Progestin thins the uterine lining, thickens cervical mucus, and inhibits ovulation. Progestin does not inhibit ovulation consistently, but maintaining a consistent amount of progestin in your bloodstream improves that consistency, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Tips for Remembering to Take Your Pill

If you have trouble remembering to take your pill, here are a few tips to keep you on track:

  • Setup a notification on your smartphone with a unique alarm tone.
  • Take your pill before getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Take your pill at bedtime.
  • Download a reminder app for your smartphone.
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