Alcohol impacts the effectiveness of different types of medication. If you are concerned about alcohol impacting the effectiveness of your birth control medication, you likely have no reason to worry. You can drink alcohol heavily or moderately without it impacting most forms of birth control. This isn't to say, however, that alcohol and sexual health conditions don't correlate with one another. Alcohol has been known to increase one's chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
How Does Alcohol Impact Birth Control?
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Alcohol does not decrease the effectiveness of the following forms of birth control:
- Birth control pills
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Depo-Provera shot
- Vaginal rings
Birth Control and Alcohol-Related Risks
While alcohol itself doesn't decrease the effectiveness of birth control, this only applies if you have adequately used the medication. Let's say you drink alcohol and vomit within two hours of taking your birth control pill. This means the pill hasn't had enough time to properly break down inside of your body, which decreases its effectiveness in preventing pregnancy. Always take another pill as soon as possible if you vomit within two hours of taking your birth control pill.
If you take the progestin-only pill (POP) for birth control, you must take this pill within the same three-hour period every day in order for it to be effective. POP works as a birth control because it stops you from ovulating. If you fail to take it within the same three-hour period, you increase your chance of ovulating. This increases your chances of getting pregnant. It's very important to remember that alcohol impacts your judgment and memory, thus meaning you are less likely to take POP on time every day if you drink alcohol.
Also important to note is that taking birth control influences how your body metabolizes alcohol. Because your body is metabolizing both birth control and alcohol at the same time, it takes the liver longer to process the alcohol. This means the effects of alcohol tend to last longer in those who take birth control than those who do not.
You can use telemedicine to access medications like birth control. Nurx is a company that specializes in telemedicine, making it very simple to use the internet to live a healthier lifestyle.
How Does Alcohol Correlate With Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Some forms of birth control, like condoms, help prevent the spreading of some sexually transmitted diseases, like HIV, HPV, and genital herpes. However, they are not 100% effective in preventing these diseases. Since alcohol impairs your judgment, you are less likely to use condoms correctly. This is why it's so important to add another layer of protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Truvada for PrEP is an excellent example of a medication you can take that adds an extra layer of protection. When taken correctly, this pill is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV.
If you use a form of birth control like condoms to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases, always remember to add an extra layer of protection, like Truvada PrEP. Also, keep in mind that many forms of birth control, as well as medications that protect you against sexually transmitted diseases, must be taken on a regular basis in order for them to remain effective.