ADHD: A Parenting Guide

Three Things That Might Be Interfering With The Way Your Birth Control Pills Work

If you are taking birth control pills, prescribed from a clinic like Mile High OB GYN, you may be confident that you are taking steps to prevent unwanted pregnancies. However, you might not know about some things that could interfere with the protection you expect from your pills. Here are a few things that may be interfering with how your pills work.

Gastrointestinal or Digestive Disorders

If you have been recently diagnosed with Crohn's disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or any other disease that involves your digestive system, it might not occur to you that it would have anything to do with your birth control pills, especially if you have been taking your pills for some time.

However, it is important for you to know that digestive disorders could interfere with how well drugs are absorbed by your body. If you have a gastrointestinal condition, it is vital that you speak to both your primary care physician and gynecologist about what your options may be. Your gynecologist might suggest non-oral methods of contraception for you instead. 

Herbal Supplements

If you are a fan of natural supplements to handle a low mood or feelings of anxiety, you might not realize that the supplements you're taking might be interfering with your birth control pills. For example, St. John's Wort can cause the breakdown of estrogen; if you are taking pills that contain estrogen, St. John's Wort may very well interfere with how well they work.

Make sure you tell your gynecologist about any supplements you are taking so that if they do interfere with your birth control pills, they can tell you to stop taking them and discuss alternatives that may be available to you.

Inconsistency with the Progesterone-Only Pill

Many birth control pills contain a combination of estrogen and progesterone in order to prevent pregnancy. If your gynecologist has recently switched you over to a progesterone-only pill because of mood changes or other issues, you may think you can take it the same way you took your old pills.

You must understand that it is very important that progesterone-only pills, also called progestin pills or mini-pills, be taken at the same time every day. With your old pills, if you forgot you could just take one when you remembered without a problem; but with progesterone-only pills, you may be losing protection if you deviate even a few hours.

If you forget your pill and are within a few hours of your normal dosage time, take it as soon as you remember. However, be sure to have backup protection in place for 48 hours. If you forget to take it for an entire day, you may have to have protection in place for an entire month. Check with your gynecologist to know for sure.

Now that you're aware of some things which could be affecting how well your birth control pills work, use the information in this article to help you make the appropriate changes. Consult your gynecologist to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your pills working properly.