Shocked african american woman reading leaflet before taking contraceptive pills, sitting on couch at home

Do I have to take the pill same time everyday?

My name name is Susan and I run a food kibanda (food kiosk). My day starts at 4:00AM and I have a very busy day that sometimes, I forget to take the pill at the same time every day. Is this okay?

The pill, when taken correctly is up to 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is designed to prevent ovulation, thicken cervical mucus to block sperm entry, and preserve a stable hormonal balance.

The pill is best taken at the same time every day. However, you can take it at any time during the day, but taking it at a specific time help you to remember. For example, for example taking it before breakfast or at bedtime may be easier to remember as opposed to random hours during the day.

Although the phrase ‘anytime’ may be confused to mean ‘flexibility,’ it’s crucial to remember that not adhering to the pill’s recommended schedule can reduce its effectiveness.

Remember! There are several types of birth control brands available in the market. Ensure that you read the directions and follow for use since dosing schedules vary between pill types and brands.

The general guideline is that if you forget to take a pill, take it as soon as you remember. If miss until the next day, take two pills that day. If you forget to take your pills for 2 days, take two pills the day you remember and two pills the next day. You will then be back on schedule. If you miss more than two pills, call your doctor. Note that this is a general guideline thus always talk to your doctor for medical advise.

Related: I forgot to take my pill!

For Susan, it is also recommended to consider other contraceptive options to effectively prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Also, note that factors like vomiting or interactions with certain medications can affect absorption, meaning you may need additional precautions e.g. using a condom.

Finally! before, during, and after using birth control pills, speak with healthcare providers for specific advice and to address any issues.

Before you go: Contraception only protects you from unwanted pregnancy and not STIs.

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LoveMatters Africa

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