Someone asked us:
I’m on antibiotics for a week and I know that when on the pill I need to use a back up method because it prevents the pill from working properly but after my week of antibiotics will I need to continue the use of a back up method?
A lot of people think that taking antibiotics will mess up their birth control. But the truth is, antibiotics won’t change the effectiveness of your birth control – with one exception: the antibiotic rifampin. Unless you’re on rifampin (which is unlikely, especially if your health care provider knows you’re on the pill), you’ve got nothing to worry about. No back up birth control needed. Of course using condoms with the pill is always a good idea regardless of other medications to prevent the spread of STDs.
With the exception of St. John’s Wort, over the counter meds won’t affect your birth control either. But there are some other prescription drugs besides antibiotics that can make birth control less effective. That’s why it’s really important to make sure your nurse or doctor knows what medications you’re on – including birth control – before she or he writes you any prescriptions.
- Alex at Planned Parenthood
I didn’t know this!
I did know about St. John’s Wort (it’s what I take for my anxiety), but not about the only one specific antibiotic!
I know I’ve told this story before, but my abusive ex refused to let me take birth control. I was on the pill until he found them in my purse.
I went to the Student Health Center—they were completely unhelpful, choosing to lecture me about the importance of safe sex (recommending condoms) instead of actually listening to my problem.
Then I went to Planned Parenthood. The Nurse Practitioner took one look at my fading bruises and stopped the exam. She called in the doctor. The doctor came in and simply asked me: “Are you ready to leave him?” When I denied that I was being abused, she didn’t argue with me. She just asked me what I needed. I said I need a birth control method that my boyfriend couldn’t detect. She recommended a few options and we decided on Depo.
When I told her that my boyfriend read my emails and listened to my phone messages and was known to follow me, she suggested to do the Depo injections at off hours when the clinic was normally closed. She made a note in my chart and instructed the front desk never to leave messages for me—instead, she programmed her personal cell phone number into my phone under the name “Nora”. She told me she would call me to schedule my appointments; she wouldn’t leave a message, but I should call her back when I was able to.
And that was it. No judgment. No lecture. She walked me to the door and told me to call her day or night if I needed anything. That she lived 5 blocks from campus and would come get me. That I wasn’t alone. That she just wanted me to be safe.
I never called her to come to my rescue. But I have no doubt that she would have come if I had called. She kept me on Depo for a year, giving me those monthly injections in secret, helping me prevent a desperately unwanted pregnancy.
I cannot thank Planned Parenthood enough for the work they do.”
Pretty much crying my eyes out here.
Someone asked us:
I was once told that if you can’t get the morning after pill that taking 5-7 days worth of the daily pill at once can be an acceptable substitute. Is that true?
Some brands of birth control pills can be used as emergency contraception, but not all of them. You can check out this chart to see what brands can be used and how to use them. (As a general rule, progestin-only birth control pills cannot be used as emergency contraception, only combination pills can.)
If you do use your birth control as emergency contraception, you should continue taking the rest of your pill pack as your normally would, but skip the placebo pills — your period week pills. Then continue on normally with the next pack. Your period might be irregular for the next month, but that’s totally normal.
- Nina at Planned Parenthood
The original post got quite a reaction. Now here is some science to back up my statement:
All right, I’m going to need Dwight Schrute to help me point out what is fact and what is false. (And what is bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica).
Fact #1: Hormonal birth control pills do not always prevent ovulation.
Fact #2: When ovulation occurs, the ovum (egg) can become fertilized
Fact #3: The instant the ovum is fertilized, conception has taken place and the woman is pregnant.
The medical community has defined pregnancy as beginning at implantation, which occurs eight to ten days after fertilization. This is because before implantation, the zygote is simply “floating” about in the parent’s body with absolutely no attachment, and because a large percentage of zygotes are expelled without implantation.
Fact #4: The uterus is unable to property receive the fertilized ovum, and the baby dies.
Given that the typical-use failure rate of hormonal contraceptive pills is around 8%, not all uteri must be rendered inhospitable to implantation by the pill.
Fact #5: A fertilized ovum is a living human baby with all the God-given rights of an adult human being.
A baby is defined as a human infant, which is defined as a live neonatal human that has been expelled from its mother’s body. A zygote has not even implanted in the uterus, let alone been expelled to survive independently.
Conclusion #1: Hormonal birth control pills do not prevent conception/fertilization.
Hormonal contraceptive pills are approximately 92% effective at preventing pregnancy (as defined by the medical community) with typical use.
Conclusion #2: Hormonal birth control pills are functional abortifacients (abortion-inducing drugs)
Birth control commercials even say “Not for women who are already pregnant.”
Moral #1: Don’t take birth control.
Birth control is awesome (and so are abortions).
Moral #2: Don’t have sex outside of marriage (i.e. Don’t be a slut)
Marriage is social construct designed to subjugate women and is nothing more than a legal contract. Have sex when you want, with whomever you want, with all the protection you want (as long as everyone consents!)
Since a marriage license is just a piece of paper, people aren’t magically able to take care of a child just because they signed one.
And they’re still just as entitled to amazing consensual sex as everyone else.
I hope Dwight was able to clear up some misconceptions. Pun intended.