Can I change my pill time or take my birth control pill early?
Have a meeting happening right when you normally take the pill? Or, are you traveling to a different time zone and not wanting to get up at 3am to take your medication? If you’re wondering “Can I change the time of my birth control pill,” the answer is thankfully yes. But there might be a few caveats.
You can usually take birth control an hour early without any problem. Some pills have a three-hour window during which you need to take them, but many are even more flexible. You should check the specific information provided with your pill to find out what the rules are.
If your pill has a three-hour window but you’re traveling to a different time zone, you can adjust the time day by day — for example, take your pill two hours after you normally do until it matches up with the time where you are. Using a back-up birth control like a condom can help you stay extra-protected while you do this.
Will taking my birth control pill with food help?
Can you take birth control pills with food? Yes. Do you need to? Nope.
It’s uncommon to have stomach upset from taking your pill, but a small snack can help if you do experience this. There’s no other benefit to taking your pill with food, unless having your medication with a meal can help you get into the routine of taking it daily.
If you eat at regular times throughout the week (including working days, weekends, etc), you’re a good candidate for taking your pill with food. But if your meal-times depend on when you get up, when you’re hungry or when you have a break, you might end up taking your birth control inconsistently.
Are the birth control patch and ring easier to remember?
The birth control patch or vaginal ring might be better suited for your lifestyle, but they’re not necessarily easier to remember. The ring keeps you protected for a month and the patch for a week so they’re more low-key than your typical everyday contraceptive. If you’re good at sticking to routines like a weekly face peel or monthly brow appointment, a more long-term birth control will likely work for you. Just don’t let out-of-sight become out-of-mind. Some people find that a birth control that’s used less frequently can be easier to forget.
Additionally, the birth control ring and patch aren’t suitable for everyone. There are so many different types of pill available that almost all women can find one that works for them — and is safe to take. But the patch and pill are both “combined” forms of birth control, meaning they contain both estrogen and progestin. If you need a progestin-only birth control (for example, if you’re over 35 and smoke), the patch and ring aren’t a good choice.