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Is the Birth Control pill still effective, if you take it two hours after the time you are supposed to take it?

In most cases, if you take your pill 2 hours late it’s still effective. Most women use combined-hormone pills. They contain both estrogen and progestin. They must be taken once a day, but they don’t need to be taken at the same time every day.

However, if you’re taking progestin-only pills, it’s best to take them at the same time every day. They may be a lot less effective if you take them more than 3 hours later than usual. If this happens, you should use a backup method of birth control, like a condom, for the next 2 days. (For example, if you’ve been taking your pill at noon, but you forget to take it until after 3:00 p.m., you should take it as soon as you remember.) Continue to take the rest of the pack on schedule.

This quiz can help you figure out what to do if you forgot to take your pill.

Updated September 21, 2017

Tags: birth control, the pill