For Real Do Antibiotics Affect Birth Control
Since antibiotics and birth control pills are both metabolized in the liver, there used to be a concern that the two would interact with each otherand become less effectiveif taken at the same time, says FACOG, board-certified ob-gyn in Princeton, New Jersey.
Luckily, that isnt usually the case. Most broad-spectrum antibiotics do not alter the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, the patch, or the ring, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . On the flip side, birth control has not been found to make an antibiotic less effective, either, says Dr. Sophocles. Its been studied a lot, and the good news is that theres really only one antibiotic, called rifampin, that substantially alters the effectiveness of a birth control pill, she says.
Rifampin is an antibiotic most commonly used to treat tuberculosis or occasionally in people who have meningitis infections in their noses or throats. It works by increasing certain enzymes in your body, according to the United Kingdom National Health Service . These enzymes increase the breakdown of estrogen in the liverand because estrogen is one of the active hormones in the birth control pill that helps prevent ovulation, it makes the contraceptive less effective, says Sherry A. Ross, M.D., ob-gyn and author of She-ology.
Which Medications Stop Hormonal Contraceptives From Working
Progestin is a hormone that is a common ingredient in different types of hormonal birth control. It protects against pregnancy by stopping ovulation and/or thickening the cervical mucus.
In most birth control pills, patch, and vaginal ring, estrogen is combined with the hormone progestin in order to prevent ovulation.
And although human behavior and error is a common reason why hormonal birth control may fail, other factors including medications may also make them less effective.
Heres how these medications can interact with a certain type of hormonal contraceptive method:
Antibiotics That Do Not Affect Birth Control
Most antibiotics have no proven effects on hormonal birth control and will not increase your chances of getting pregnant if you have sex during treatment. Commonly prescribed antibiotics that are safe to take while on birth control include:
- Ampicillin, for treating bladder infections, pneumonia, and more.
- Cephalexin, for treating upper respiratory, ear, skin, urinary tract, and bone infections.
- Ciprofloxacin, for treating skin, respiratory, joint, and urinary tract infections.
- Clarithromycin, for treating bacterial skin and respiratory infections.
- Clindamycin, for treating skin, lung, soft tissue, vaginal, and pelvic infections.
- Doxycycline, for treating urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, respiratory infections, and more.
- Metronidazole, for treating vaginal, stomach, liver, skin, joint, and respiratory system infections.
- Minocycline, for treating urinary tract, respiratory, and skin infections, as well as chlamydia.
- Ofloxacin, for treating skin infections, urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
- Roxithromycin, for treating bacterial respiratory tract, urinary and soft tissue infections.
- Sulfamethoxazole, for treating urinary tract, ear, and respiratory infections, among others.
- Tetracycline, for treating skin, respiratory, urinary, and other infections, as well as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
- And many more.
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Can Antibiotics Affect My Birth Control
Does amoxicillin affect birth control? I used this antibiotic for my throat.
Nope! Antibiotics like amoxicillin wont change the effectiveness of your birth control. The antibiotic rifampin is the only exception it can lower the effectiveness of the pill, patch, and ring. So unless youre using one of those birth control methods and taking rifampin, which is a medicine used to treat tuberculosis, theres nothing to worry about.
There are, however, some other medicines besides antibiotics that can make birth control not work as well. So its very important to be open and honest with your nurse or doctor about what medicines youre on no matter if it was prescribed or not so they can give you the best care.
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Some Medications Must Be Taken With Birth Control
While most medications can be taken safely with birth control, there are some medications that must be taken with some form of reliable birth control since its unsafe to get pregnant while taking them. Drugs that fall into that category are teratogenic, which means they can cause malformations in an embryo. Here are some of the most common teratogenic drugs that should be taken with a reliable form of birth control :
How Antibiotics Make It Harder To Get Pregnant
Some antibiotics cause fertility problems in men who take them for a long time. Antibiotics affect both the quantity and quality of sperm. They may reduce the number of sperm a man produces, and make the sperm he does produce swim more slowly.
These are some of the antibiotics that could affect sperm quantity and movement:
The effects on fertility should stop within 3 months after you stop taking antibiotics. But if you’re worried, ask your doctor to prescribe an antibiotic that won’t affect sperm quality.
What If I Take A Medication That Messes With Hormonal Birth Control
There are many highly effective types of birth control that are not affected by these medications, including all IUDs, the implant, and the shot. Barrier methods like condoms are also effective regardless of what medication youre taking.
In general, its good to remember that medicines can have powerful interactions with each otherand hormonal birth control is just another type of medicine. If a new medicine is prescribed for you, make sure to tell your health care provider about all of the medicines, herbal and vitamin supplements you regularly take.
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Other Medications That Mess With Birth Control
While antibiotics have been taking the unplanned pregnancy fall for years, there are other medications that may actually be making your birth control less effective. Any medication that has vomiting or diarrhea as a side effect â or if youâre experiencing vomiting or diarrhea because of your illness â has the potential to make oral hormonal birth control less effective. Thatâs because if youâre taking it orally , then it could be coming back up or processed too quickly through your intestine to get enough of the hormones in your blood stream. Without those hormones at sufficient levels to block ovulation, you could ovulate and therefore could get pregnant if you have sex at the right time of the month.
And remember how I said that the reason rifampin messes with your birth control is because itâs enzyme-inducing? Well, it turns out itâs not the only one. Other drugs that are enzyme-inducing include Modafinal , some epilepsy drugs , and some antiretroviral drugs that are used to treat HIV . So if youâre taking one of those medications, consider either using back up contraceptives or switching to a new method altogether.
Recommendations For Those Taking Antibiotics And Birth Control Pills
If you are not taking a “rifamycin” antibiotic , your birth control will most likely not be affected. However, since there do appear to be a few individuals that are especially susceptible to antibiotics decreasing birth control hormone concentrations, and since these individuals can’t be easily identified, it is generally recommended to use back-up contraception while taking doxycycline, just to be safe.
In terms of how long to wait after taking antibiotics to stop back-up contraception, the most common recommendation is for 7 days after you finish your antibiotic. This allows time for the bacteria in your gut to “re-grow” and for hormone concentrations from the birth control pills to return to a normal level.
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How To Make Birth Control More Effective
- When you receive a prescription for antibiotics, ask your pharmacy if there are any medications that make them less effective.
- Use another method of birth control while using antibiotics. If you use spermicide and diaphragm, there is almost 100% effectiveness.
- Take birth control pills at the same time every day. Take them exactly how your doctor tells you to take them.
- Do not skip pills when on birth control and follow any instructions to catch up.
- If an IUD is your birth control method, make sure you check for placement every month. If you cannot find the attached string, you need to use another form of birth control and see your doctor as soon as possible.
- If you have unprotected sex, you can contact your physician within 72 hours for emergency contraceptives.
It only takes one time having sex without protection to get pregnant. You may be lucky and not get pregnant, but that one time may be the time that you end up with an unplanned pregnancy.
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Speak With Your Healthcare Provider
If youre taking combined oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, the last thing you need is to worry that they may not be working properly and cause an unintended pregnancy. While most medications are safe to take while on the pill, its important to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider if you need to go on any other medications, whether long-term or temporarily. If youre taking a medication that might decrease the effectiveness of your birth control pills, just use a back-up form of birth control during that time.
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How To Take Birth Control Pills Correctly
When used as directed, birth control pills are up to 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. Most birth control pills are taken daily for 21 days on and seven days off. Some pills are taken for 28 straight days and others for 91 straight days. Pills may be different colors to indicate different levels of hormones. Some days you may take pills that contain no hormones. Theyre meant to keep you in the habit of taking your pills.
Your doctor will advise you about when to start taking your pills. This is usually the first Sunday after your menstrual cycle starts or the first day of your menstrual cycle. You should take your pills at the same time each day. If you dont take your pills consistently, your risk of becoming pregnant increases.
Birth control pills are just one of many birth control options. Other options include:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends asking yourself these questions when deciding which option is best for you:
- Do you want to have children some day?
- Do you have any medical problems?
- How often do you have sex?
- How many sex partners do you have?
- Will the birth control prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases?
- How well does the birth control work?
- What are the side effects?
- Is it difficult or inconvenient to use?
Other Birth Control Drug Interactions
Antibiotics arent the only medication interaction you need to be concerned about when taking birth control. Most medications are completely safe with combined oral contraceptives, but there are certain other drugs that can interfere with the pill, making it work less effectively. There are two main types of drugs that can be problematic with the pill:
Theres only one antiretroviral that can interfere with the pill, a drug called fosamprenavir . If youre on the pill and have HIV, your healthcare provider will likely recommend using a back-up method of birth control. Or, she may prescribe a different HIV medication.
With anticonvulsants, the list of drugs that interact with hormonal contraceptives is much longer. If you have a seizure disorder, youll need to work closely with your healthcare provider to find the right combination of drugs for you. The anticonvulsant drugs that can make birth control less effective are :
There are many other anticonvulsant drugs that are perfectly fine to take while on the pill. If you need to be on one of the above medications, though, you should use another form of birth control.
Lastly, some herbal medicines, such as St. Johns wort, can interfere with the pill, causing side effects such as breakthrough bleeding. Its possible these substances can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills, so back-up birth control is recommended .
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Using A Backup Method
Although there have been some cases reported of contraceptive failing when a woman takes antibiotics, it doesnt happen regularly. To ease your mind while taking antibiotics, your doctor will generally recommend that a backup method of birth control is used during this time. Typically, a condom, spermicide, or a female condom are all good options to use as a backup method.
If you are takingboth antibiotics and birth control at the same time and wondering doantibiotics affect birth control, you should speak with your doctor and findout how long you should use a backup method for.
How Antibiotics Improve Fertility
Bacterial infections are one of the most common causes of infertility in both men and women. Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea can damage the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes in women, and the tubes that sperm travel through in men.
Sometimes these infections don’t cause symptoms. You may not even know you have an STI. Without treatment, bacteria can spread to the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease .
PID can leave scars in the fallopian tubes. Those scars might block the tubes and prevent an egg from traveling down them to be fertilized.
Doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. Treating these infections can prevent damage to the reproductive tract and may improve the odds of a pregnancy.
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Slection Des Donnes :
Recherche dans Medline des articles publiés entre 1975 et septembre 1998 inclusivement. Il sagissait de rechercher notamment les mots-clés « antibiotic », « oral contraceptive » et « pregnancy ». Les articles publiés, de même que les références accompagnant ces articles, ont été passés en revue. Les articles faisant état des mécanismes de linteraction entre les antibiotiques et les contraceptifs oraux ont été inclus dans létude.
Oral Contraceptive Steroid Pharmacokinetics
The estrogens most commonly found in oral contraceptive preparations are ethinylestradiol and mestranol, a prodrug which is metabolized to ethinylestradiol. After metabolism via the first pass effect, ethinylestradiol has an oral bioavailability of 40% to 50% . Hydroxylation is the main metabolic pathway for ethinylestradiol, whereas conjugation is considered to be a minor pathway in most women, resulting in sulphation or glucuronidation of the original estrogenic steroid. Glucuronide and sulphate conjugates reach the small intestine by way of the bile duct. Hydrolytic enzymes of intestinal bacteria break the conjugates down, resulting in the release of free, active estrogenic hormone. The active hormone is then available for reabsorption and undergoes enterohepatic cycling, which is responsible for plasma estrogen levels necessary for contraception.
The progestins present in oral contraceptive pills also undergo conjugation. Hydrolysis of conjugates leads to the formation of inactive metabolites because the parent molecule cannot be directly conjugated. Progestins are not thought to undergo extensive enterohepatic cycling and are, thus, less likely to be involved in drug interactions with antibiotics than ethinylestradiol .
What Antibiotics Are Known To Interfere With The Birth Control Pill
There are dozens of antibiotics on the market that are prescribed for different infections. Some infections can be so aggressive that a person may need to try several rounds of antibiotics before getting better. Also, antibiotics can be called by different names, although they are the same drug. Its crucial that patients on the pill ask their doctor if the antibiotic they are getting can interfere with their birth control pill, ring, or patch.
Only 2 antibiotics have been shown to have an effect on birth control pills: Rifampin and Griseofulvin.
Rifampin is a drug used to treat tuberculosis, so it is fortunately not commonly prescribed in the U.S.
Topical antibiotics do NOT interfere with birth control pill effectiveness.
A study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology states that pharmacokinetic evidence demonstrates that levels of oral contraceptive steroids are unchanged with combined administration of antibiotics, showed the following antibiotics do NOT affect birth control pills blood levels of birth control hormones = they are OK to use with birth control pills.
I Need To Take These Medications What Are My Options
If you are already on hormonal birth control and are about to start taking one of these medications, your provider will discuss birth control options with you to make sure your medications dont interact. The birth control shot, IUD, or implant may be your best bet.
If you are interested in starting hormonal birth control, be sure to let your provider know about your existing prescriptions. If you are taking one of the medications above and decide to stop, be aware that it could take up to 28 days after stopping before any hormonal birth control will be fully effective. In the meantime, you will need backup contraception.
Either way, your prescriber will be able to advise you on the safest birth control for you depending on what other meds you take or are about to start.
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What Vitamins Make Birth Control Less Effective
Hormonal birth control methods usually work quite effectively to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Proper use of these methods may also help improve your reproductive health. However, you need to understand that birth control pills are highly effective, but certain medications can affect the way these pills work. Many women wonder if it is okay to take vitamins when taking birth control pills. Let’s find out the answer now.