What can cut birth control pill effect?

A video with more than 2 million views caught the attention on TikTok of those who take birth control pills. In it, a woman says that she became pregnant two months before her wedding because she had to take antibiotics, which cut off the contraceptive’s effect—which came as a shock.

It is not common and not all medicines prevent the pill from working correctly, but it is always important to be aware. “Some drugs can cut the effect, yes. Whenever you take antifungal and antibiotic, even if studies indicate that they do not affect the pill, my recommendation is to use another contraceptive method for the next 14 days”, says gynecologist and reproduction specialist Alessandra Daud .

The gynecologist specializing in Female Sexuality and Urogynecology at USP Lilian Fiorelli goes further and asks for attention for the next month. According to her, the effect on your cycle will depend on the phase of the pack you are in.

“If you started taking antibiotics at the beginning of the pack, the body understands that you didn’t even start using contraceptives that month, so you have a chance of ovulating and getting pregnant. If it’s at the end, you may have bleeding earlier than expected and have your next cycle compromised”, he explains. When in doubt, always use a condom.

cycle in the body

Second Stephani Caserendocrinologist with a postgraduate degree in gynecology and obstetrics there is only one antibiotic at medical biography that is officially capable of impacting the contraceptive: the rifampicin, used to treat tuberculosis. But that doesn’t mean that others don’t deserve attention.

“When we take a drug, it has a time of absorption in the body before taking effect. In the case of the oral pill, this can take four to six hours”, says Stephani. Our body absorbs this medicine in the intestine. Therefore, any medicine that is also absorbed at this location can impact its effect.

“Antibiotics are absorbed in the intestine as well. This can change the flora of the organ, which affects the absorption of the pill”, says the doctor.

If the consequence of this change is diarrhea or vomiting, for example, the pill can also lose its effect. “Diarrhea increases intestinal transit and the pill is not absorbed correctly”, says Alessandra.

For Lilian, this interruption of the drug’s function can also happen with more common antibiotics, such as amoxicillin and azithromycin, which are widely used. According to her, this is because both antibiotics and contraceptives are metabolized in the liver. “When the antibiotic arrives, it is metabolized first. And the pill is not absorbed by the body”, she explains.

Pre-existing vitamins and diseases

Prepare for a scare: even vitamins can affect the effectiveness of your birth control pill.

“Some vitamins stimulate estrogen receptors, which is one of the hormones present in most contraceptives used by Brazilian women. This stimulus increases the use of the hormone in the body”, says Stephani.

If you use more, the amount ingested may not be enough to block ovulation. In doubt whether you can take any natural remedy, consult your gynecologist.

Apart from that, antivirals used against HIV, drugs for patients with epilepsy and migraines can also change the oral pill. For these people, the indication is to use another method indicated by the doctor.

About Jenni Smith

She's our PC girl, so anything is up to her. She is also responsible for the videos of Play Crazy Game, as well as giving a leg in the news.

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