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How important is it to take the pill at the exact same time every day? I take it every night, but sometimes there’s a difference in 3 hours at the time I take it from night to night. Will it still be effective as long as I take it every night?

It depends on what kind of pill you’re taking. If you’re taking a combined-hormone pill — which contains estrogen and progestin — you’re protected against pregnancy as long as you take your pill each day.

If you’re taking progestin-only pills, the pill may be less effective if you take it more than three hours earlier or three hours later than usual. If this happens, you should use a backup method of birth control, like a latex or female condom. (For example, if you’ve been taking your pill at noon, and you decide to take it earlier than 9:00 a.m. or later than 3:00 p.m., you should use a backup method.)

Check out this chart to see what to do if you forget a pill or two.

Missing pills can cause spotting or light bleeding — even if you make them up. You also may feel a little sick to your stomach if you take two pills to make up for a missed pill.

Tags: the pill, birth control