What to know about birth control and alcohol

Alcohol can instantly have an effect on many drugs, however contraception shouldn’t be one among them. An individual can drink alcohol with out worrying that it could cut back the effectiveness of their contraception tablet.

Nonetheless, ingesting an excessive amount of alcohol can not directly decrease the effectiveness of contraception. Alcohol impacts judgment, which in flip can result in dangerous sexual conduct. It may additionally have an effect on an individual’s capability to make use of contraception accurately.

On this article, we focus on the dangers of ingesting alcohol whereas taking contraception tablets.

Does alcohol cut back the effectiveness of the tablet?

people drinking alcohol at a bar
Contraception ought to work in the identical method if an individual drinks alcohol.

Alcohol doesn’t have an effect on the functioning of the contraception tablet.

In accordance with Deliberate Parenthood, the next types of contraception will proceed to work in the identical method if an individual drinks alcohol:

  • contraception tablets
  • intrauterine units (IUDs)
  • implants
  • patches
  • vaginal rings
  • the Depo-Provera shot
  • condoms

With appropriate use, these strategies are 91–99 % efficient. The contraception tablet can be 99 % efficient if everybody used it accurately on a regular basis. As they don’t, it’s about 91 % efficient in actuality.

If an individual drinks a lot alcohol that they vomit inside 2 hours of taking their tablet, it will likely be much less efficient. If this occurs, they need to take one other tablet as quickly as attainable and see a physician for additional recommendation.

Alcohol also can have an effect on an individual’s judgment and reminiscence. An individual consuming an extreme quantity of alcohol might overlook to take the tablet that day.

Or, in the event that they use the progestin-only tablet (POP), they could overlook to take it throughout the correct timeframe. The POP is barely efficient if a person takes it throughout the similar Three-hour interval day-after-day.

Lacking a dose could cause ovulation, which is when an ovary releases an egg.

The three days on which a feminine is most fertile are the two days main as much as ovulation and the day it happens. If they’ve sexual activity with a male throughout essentially the most fertile days and don’t use contraception, they’ve a 27–33 % likelihood of changing into pregnant.

If an individual misses a contraception tablet and desires to keep away from unintended being pregnant, they need to use condoms or one other type of contraception along with the tablet for four weeks.

Does contraception have an effect on alcohol tolerance?

Individuals who take contraception tablets metabolize, or course of, alcohol extra slowly than these not on the tablet. It’s because the liver has to metabolize each the alcohol and the hormones within the treatment.

Consequently, alcohol stays within the physique for an prolonged interval, and its results last more. Folks additionally stay intoxicated for longer throughout their menstrual durations, when the physique releases extra hormones.

Females sometimes are likely to get intoxicated extra shortly than males. It’s because their our bodies comprise much less of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol, which is named alcohol dehydrogenase.

Different dangers

Ingesting extreme quantities of alcohol carries different dangers, particularly regarding sexual conduct.

Dangerous sexual conduct

People who find themselves intoxicated might not use condoms or different contraception to guard themselves towards sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unintended being pregnant. Others might remorse their selection of sexual accomplice.

The authors of a examine from 2015 examined the connection between alcohol and sexual conduct in adults aged 26, 32, and 38. They discovered that 13.5 % of males and 11.9 % of girls aged 38 skilled undesirable outcomes following their conduct whereas intoxicated.

These outcomes included regretting intercourse, regretting the selection of sexual accomplice, and never utilizing contraception.

Sexual assault

There’s a hyperlink between alcohol and sexual assault. A publication launched by the Nationwide Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states that roughly 50 % of people that report sexual assault say that they had been ingesting on the time of the assault.

The identical report states that males who’ve been ingesting alcohol are liable for 50 % of sexual assaults.

You will need to observe that even when an individual has been ingesting earlier than somebody sexually assaults them, they’re by no means in charge. The fault all the time lies with the perpetrator.

Planning forward

People who find themselves taking the contraception tablet and know that they are going to be ingesting ought to plan accordingly. They may take into account:

  • setting an alarm to remind them to take their tablet on time
  • taking their tablet in the course of every day, when they’re much less more likely to be ingesting
  • carrying a barrier type of contraception, resembling condoms, to stop STIs
  • explaining to their accomplice that they want to use condoms as a backup methodology of contraception whereas ingesting

Selecting the best contraception

The bith control pill in a womans hands which may be affected by alcohol
A health care provider can advise which contraception strategies are finest.

Many types of contraception can be found. A health care provider can present recommendation on which is finest for a person.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 62 % of girls aged 15–44 within the U.S. had been utilizing contraception between 2011 and 2013. The commonest types between 2011 and 2015 had been:

  • the tablet (15.9 %)
  • feminine sterilization (14.Three %)
  • male condoms (9.2 %)
  • IUDs (6.eight %)

When selecting a type of contraception, an individual ought to determine which components are a very powerful to them.

Components to think about for every methodology of contraception embrace:

  • how successfully it prevents being pregnant
  • how successfully it protects from STIs
  • how simple it’s to make use of
  • the results on menstruation
  • the impression on sexual pleasure
  • how lengthy it lasts
  • whether or not or not it’s reversible
  • the associated fee
  • the potential negative effects
  • whether or not or not it comprises hormones

Within the U.S., the tablet is the most typical type of contraception. It’s simple to make use of and usually regulates durations and reduces menstrual cramping. It’s attainable to get pregnant quickly after stopping the tablet.

Nonetheless, an individual should take the tablet day-after-day, and it will possibly trigger negative effects, resembling decreased sexual need. Sure antibiotics and different drugs can cut back the tablet’s effectiveness.

For individuals who discover it tough to recollect to take the tablet day-after-day, a long-term contraceptive gadget could also be extra appropriate. These units embrace IUDs, implants, and injections. A health care provider can present extra info and recommendation.


Alcohol doesn’t cut back the effectiveness of contraception tablets. Nonetheless, the tablets amplify the results of alcohol. This may impair judgment and result in extra dangerous conduct.

If an individual forgets to take the tablet or vomits inside 2 hours of taking it, they could have an elevated chance of being pregnant.

When ingesting, it’s best to take further precautions to keep away from unintended being pregnant. These embrace ingesting alcohol carefully to keep away from vomiting and carrying a backup type of contraception. Condoms are the one methodology that additionally protects towards STIs.

It could assist to set a every day reminder to take the tablet or to modify to a extra handy type of contraception, such a vaginal ring or an IUD.

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