If you are familiar with the birth control pill, Nuvaring, or the Ortho Evra patch, then you have probably heard the warnings that certain, medications and supplements can reduce the effectiveness of these forms of birth control.
The reason being is that these forms of birth control contain the synthetic form of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Since these hormones are largely metabolized in the liver, anything a woman ingests that stimulates enzyme production in the liver has the potential to reduce the effectiveness of the pill, ring, or patch.
The pill has a 92% to 97% rate of effectiveness against pregnancy. The pill comes in many different brands and dosages in either packs of 21 or 28. The first 21 pills have the hormones. The last seven are reminder pills with no hormones, and it is during those seven pills that you would get your monthly menstrual cycle.
The hormones in these types of birth control block your ovulation, as well as thicken the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to enter a woman’s uterus.
This type of birth control does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
Although every woman’s body responds differently to medications, it is highly recommended that you use a back up method of birth control, if you are taking any of the medications or supplements that could affect the birth controls defense against pregnancy.
Examples of suitable back up methods include, condoms, the sponge, and spermicide.
Medications that are known or suspected of reducing the effectiveness the birth control pill, Nuvaring, or Ortho Evra patch are,
-medication for tuberculosis
-Anti-HIV Protease inhibitors
-the anti-nausea medication Aprepitant
-anti-depressants that can alter hormone levels
In addition, even some natural supplements are suspected of lowering the pills effectiveness.
-St. Johns Wort
Lastly, even the food you eat or drink, can have an impact on effectiveness.
You should not eat grapefruit, or drink grapefruit juice, while on these forms of birth control.
It is always recommended that you talk to your physician before taking any medication or supplements and specifically ask if any of them react with one another or reduce the effectiveness of anything, you are taking.