Taking pill same time every day



Hi @drpaula

I’ve been reading lots of articles (from trustworthy sources such as planned parenthood) about how you don’t need to take the combined pill at exactly the same time everyday. However, the instructions on my combined pill say that you should. I was wondering how much this matters as I take my pill when I wake up, which can vary. When I’m at work I take my pill at around 6:30am where as at a weekend I may wake up any time between 10/11am and then take the pill. I’ve never really thought this would make a difference as I never miss pills but now I’m questioning whether or not this is making the pill less effective.

I hope you can help,



Hello @chop20

You have 24 hours to remember to take your combined pill. If you are more than 24 hours late then that counts as a missed pill. So taking it 4 hours later on ta weekend will not make the pill less effective.

Hope helpful.



Hi Paula,

Thank you! I am on gederal 20/150 and it says that I only have a 12 hour window so am I still safe to take the pill anywhere between 6am - 12pm?

I know I have 12 hours after my usual time to take the pill and be protected but worry about taking it earlier than my usual time.



Hello @chop20

The latest guidance from the UK Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care says that you have 24 hours to remember to take your pill. The guidance on this changed a couple of years ago, it used to be 12 hours. I know this is causing some confusion as I have had a couple of other questions on this.

If you take a pill early then that is not a problem unless that means that you extend the time from that pill until your next pill to more than 24 hours.

If you take your pill with the 7 day break then you should be particularly careful to take the pill within the 24 hour window before and after the break because failure to do so may extend the break beyond 7 days which is associated with a risk of ovulation.

Hope helpful.



Hi @Dr_Paula,

Thank you so much for this.

So just to clarify, if I usually take my pill at 6:45am, took one on Saturday at 8am and one on Sunday at 12:30pm it isn’t a problem to then take Monday’s at 6:45am again and continue to do so until Friday? When you say it’s fine unless you extend the time between the early pill to the next pill by more than 24 hours, do you mean 48 hours in total to include the 24 hour window?

Thanks again for being so helpful and sorry for asking so many questions.



Hello @chop20

A COC pill is missed if it is not taken in the 24 hours after it should have been taken. So the regime you describe is fine.

If you usually take your pill at 6.45 am monday to friday then taking at 8am on saturday is fine - thats only one hour late, taking it on sunday at 12.30 is fine - thats only 6 hours late (based on the mon-fri) time. Then taking it at 6.45 the next day on monday is fine.

Does that make sense?

Best wishes



Thanks Paula, I get really anxious about trusting my pill so get worried when I don’t take it at the same time every day - you have helped to put my mind at ease.

Best wishes,