Why Your Birth Control May Fail You
I always joke that it’s a good thing my sex life is in the toilet right now, because of the way I forget my birth control. An alarm doesn’t do much, when you turn it off, finish your nap, then remember hours later to take your pill. But for women who do remember to take their pill, here are some other reasons your pill could fail you.
- Inconsistency. Taking your pill at the exact same time every day greatly reduces the risk of failure. And while obesity used to be considered a factor that could impact the effectiveness of the pill, a recent study said consistency, not weight has the greatest impact. If you forget to take more than one pill in a month, be sure to use backup birth control and call your doctor or pharmacist for specific advice.
- St. John’s Wort. The natural supplement can increase the breakdown of your pill’s estrogen, making it less effective.
- The antibiotic rifampin. According to the Mayo Clinic, the risks of antibiotics interfering with the pill are greatly overstated. Yet, the antibiotic rifampin (Rimactane) does have an impact, so check with your doctor if you are prescribed antibiotics.
- Other medications. Some yeast-infection medicines, HIV treatments, or anti-seizure medication could counteract the pill. If you ever fill a new prescription, always ask if you need to use a backup form of birth control.
- Temperature. Be sure to store your pack in a cool place. If it’s left in the sun or in extreme heat (or cold) it could become less effective.
- Vomiting or diarrhea. If you’re ill within 30 minutes of taking your pill — thanks to alcohol or something else — treat it as if you missed it.
When all else fails, you could always considering zapping your man in the balls for birth control!