Daylight Saving Time goes into effect (in the US) on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2 a.m. So, make sure you remember to "spring forward" and set your clocks one hour ahead. In anticpation for the time change, Ana-Marie, a concerned subscriber to my Contraception Newsletter, emailed me a question about Daylight Saving Time and her birth control pill, so incase any of you are wondering the same thing, here is Ana-Marie's question:
I take my birth control pill (Femcon Fe) at 6:00 AM every day. When we have to set the clock ahead an hour for Daylight Saving Time, what do I do? Do I take it at 7:00 AM (the time that WOULD have been 6:00 AM)? Or can I continue to take it at my normal time?
Typically, most birth control pills have about a 1-2 hour window period where effectiveness is not compromised. That being said, if you take your pill at the same time that you normally would, technically, your body will feel as if you were one hour early taking the pill. Although an hour generally does not matter in either direction, taking your pill one hour earlier (as opposed to one hour later than usual), is usually safer. So, you can continue to take your pill at your normal time - 6:00 AM.
If, however, you would rather be super-cautious, then it is best to continue taking your pill at what WOULD have been your usual time (so, in Ana-Marie's case, she should continue to take her Femcon Fe at the adjusted time of 7:00 AM instead of 6:00). Then, when you begin your next pack of pills (after the placebo week is over), you can go back to taking them at your "normal" time - such as 6:00 AM (as in Ana-Marie's question). The most important point to remember is that you will have maximum protection as long as you take the pill at about the same time everyday.
- When Should I Take the Pill?
- How To Use Birth Control Pills
- Ways to Prevent Oral Contraceptive Failure
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Daylight Saving Time and Birth Control Pill Photo © 2013 Dawn Stacey