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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Can't seem to find a straight answer...

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Gingerbread
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Member # 45944

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Hello Scarleteen, I've been on the site and a few other sites looking for information on what constitutes using the combined oral contraceptive pill "perfectly", and i've been finding mixed answers as to when exactly i have to take my pills. Usually i take them within ten minutes every night, but last sunday and then last night i took it about an hour or two later because i had a recital and was unable to take them at the usual time. I've been unable to find one straight answer, and was wondering, could taking it an hour later compromise the effectiveness of my pill? or is this still perfect use? it was only two pills, the rest of them have been spot on time.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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It is tough to find a clear definition of "perfect" use, and that's mostly because what's "perfect" is determined through controlled studies. So, that's going to depend on what the deal was with how a user used a method and how that was monitored in a given study.

However, there's a broad concensus (and your pill insert sheet should tel you this) that if you take a combined pill around the same time of day every day -- morning, afternoon, evening -- that you're doing just fine, and there is a grace period of around 12 hours before a pill is considered "missed."

How you are talking you pill sounds like you're doing exceptionally well with the timing, and no, based on what we know, differences of an hour or two are not likely to reduce your pill's effectiveness.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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