Sometimes it is hard to keep a schedule when taking the pill everyday. If I have scheduled myself to take it at 6 PM everyday, but forget and delay taking it until 7 or 8, how much of the its effectiveness is lowered?
The answer to your question depends on the kind of pill you’re taking.
Most birth control pills are combination pills — pills that have both estrogen and progestin. With combination pills, you just need to make sure you take a pill every day — if you take it at different times during the day, it should still work. That said, a lot of women find it’s easier to remember to take their pill every day if they always take it at the same time, and make it a regular part of their daily routine.
But some pills contain only the hormone progestin, and they work a little differently. You can become pregnant if you take your progestin-only pill more than three hours past your regular time. If this happens, take the pill as soon as you remember, take the next pill at the usual time, and use a back-up method, like condoms, for the next 48 hours. Find out more detailed information about what to do if you miss a pill here.