If you take them properly, taking contraceptive pills gives you 99% protection from an unwanted pregnancy. Therefore, in theory, only 1% of women who take it would become pregnant. However, in practice, the effectiveness of the pill is reduced to 91%, according to Planned Parenthood. That's because its usefulness decreases significantly if you forget to take five or more pills per month, which is fairly common, according to the BBC.
That's because for most people, it is difficult to commit to taking a pill every day at the same time for years.
Of course, there are alternatives. An intrauterine device (IUD) and sterilization (tubal ligation) offers the same protection against pregnancy, without the risk of forgetting to take a pill. That said, no contraceptive method is perfect. If you feel comfortable with the pill and it works for your body, here are some ways to keep yourself from forgetting to take it.
Make it part of your routine.
Many women do not leave the house without an exhaustive makeup and skincare regimen, without brushing their teeth, or without having their coffee. Leave the pack of pills in your makeup bag or in the kitchen near the coffee pot so that they become part of your daily routine. Before making coffee, you take the pill. Or after putting on your mascara, you take the pill.
If you prefer to take it at night you can also use your evening routine to remember. Before applying your nighttime moisturizer or brushing your teeth, you can take it. You can also leave it on your bedside table near your phone charger so that it is the last thing you do before going to sleep.
It does not matter too much if you get up or go to sleep two hours later some days, for example, on weekends. According to Planned Parenthood, if you take the combination pill, you are protected as long as you take it every day. On the other hand, if you take the minipill, or the progestin-only pill, you should do it every day at almost the same time; You only have three hours of margin. The important thing, say gynecologists, is that you manage to make the pill a routine, in this way remember to take it always.
Use a distinctive or funny alarm.
Many women avoid forgetting the pill by calling attention to it by setting an alarm on their phone that reminds them to take their pill. And you can definitely get creative with it!
A group of women spoke to The Thirty and shared their most effective methods. For instance, one of them named her phone alarm "TIME TO AVOID A BABY". You can also use some "contraceptive images" like a screaming child to illustrate things. Just make sure you don't hit snooze on that alarm!
Always have a spare package on hand.
This is super important - what do you do if you lose a pill or if you forgot the pack at home? You have your spare package, which should always be stored in your wallet or purse, so that it goes everywhere with you.
Leave your pills in plain sight.
Based on the time when you normally take your pill, leave the package somewhere you can see it and remember to take one. For example, if your alarm is at 8 o'clock at night and at that time you are normally making dinner, leave a package in the kitchen. If you take your pill in the morning, put it next to the coffee maker.
It is true that we will not always be in the same place at the same time - that's why you should have the aforementioned spare package.
Synchronize your birth control pill with your other medications
If you take other medications, it is advisable to synchronize the pill's schedule with that of the other drugs, so you can take everything at the same time and only have to reminder once a day (if that's advisable according to your doctor). It's estimated that up to 75% of people don't take their medications correctly, so be smart and don't be one of them!