The pill is one of the most commonly used forms of birth control. Oral hormonal contraceptives when used correctly are effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies. The last thing you want when you’re on a contraceptive is to somehow by some advanced witchcraft end up pregnant.
This failure is even worse when you’re on it likely dealing with a wide range of side effects including but not limited to nausea, irregular periods, headaches, sore or tender breasts, bloating, changes to your skin, and mood swings. Here are some things to avoid because of their potential to stop this oral contraceptive from working or make it less effective.
Things that can compromise the working of the pill
Some medicines can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Certain antibiotics known as enzyme-inducing can increase the enzymes in the body thus affecting hormonal contraception. Most antibiotics are safe to use with the ones linked to failure being rifampicin and rifabutin which are commonly used to treat tuberculosis and meningitis.
Certain epilepsy medications taken to prevent seizures and migraine medication can also affect the working of hormonal birth control. Laxatives can also compromise the functioning of the contraceptive pill. Speak to your doctor about any medication you may be on when getting treatment.
Illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive issues including vomiting can compromise the effectiveness of the pill. Bowel conditions like Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease may prevent the body from absorbing any oral medication correctly. Chronic diarrhoea can also impede absorption. Vomiting because of a stomach infection, food poisoning, or disorder like bulimia can also reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.
Detox tea and diet tablets
Detox tea usually is a combination of herbal components intended to help the body cleanse toxins from the body. It is often used as a health supplement in conjunction with weight loss efforts. Detox teas with a laxative effect compromise the pill’s efficiency. One detox tea manufacturer recently issued a statement saying, “its efficiency could be affected if you take your pill in the morning within four hours of the laxative effect.” Diet tablets also have a laxative property.
Missing a pill or starting a pack late
The leading cause of the contraceptive pill failure is that women are not taking them daily. Missing a pill is the biggest mistake you could make. One obstetrics and gynaecology professor had this to say, “For most pills, if you are in the middle or toward the end of your pack you should be fine, but if it is the first day of active pills and you forget to restart, this might be a problem… If you miss a single pill other than the first one, take it as soon as you remember, and you should be fine. If you miss more than two pills, “it is likely best to consider yourself not protected.”
Not taking the progestin-only pill at the same time daily
If you are taking progestin-only pills (POP) also known as mini-pills, timing is crucial. Progestin-only pills work mostly by making cervical mucous unfavourable for sperm. The active ingredient only stays in the body for 24 hours, so you have to take the pill at the same time every single day. If you are late by three hours or more, you should use a secondary form of birth control because that is enough time for the mucous to be penetrated. Planned parenthood recommends you use backup contraception for 48 hours after a late or missed pill.
Like other medications, you should keep your pills away from extreme temperatures. Keeping them in very hot or very cold temperatures can risk making them less effective.
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