6 Things That Can Stop Birth Control Pills From Working

by Adora Wong
HEALTH  |  December 28, 2017
  • The truth about the pill
    1 / 7 The truth about the pill

    It’s common knowledge that the pill is supposed to be 99.9 per cent effective. But just taking the pill might not actually be good enough to prevent pregnancy. To ensure it works as well as it’s supposed to, there are several things we can avoid doing. Scroll the gallery to find out if you’ve been doing some of the don’ts.

    This article isn’t meant to replace medical advice. Should you have any questions, consult your doctor. 

    Photo: freestocks.org/Pexels

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  • Taking certain types of antibiotics
    2 / 7 Taking certain types of antibiotics

    Birth control pills contain oestrogen. Certain types of antibiotics cause enzymes in the liver to break them down more, which means there will be less oestrogens in your body, which leads to a decrease in the effectiveness of the pills. Always check with your doctor that the antibiotics you have been given is compatible with your pill.

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  • Having diarrhoea and throwing up
    3 / 7 Having diarrhoea and throwing up

    If you’re ill and suffer from these side effects, the absorption of the pill may be affected, especially if you consumed it just a few hours before. Check with your doctor to see if you can treat it as a missed pill. And to be safe, use backup contraceptions such as a condom.

    (Also Read: What’s Causing Your Heavy Period, And Should You Be Concerned?)

    Photo: Richard Revel/Pexels

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  • Poor storage
    4 / 7 Poor storage

    We know that we have to store our supplements in a cool, dry place, and the pill is no different. Storing it somewhere moist and hot can render the medication inactive.

    Photo: Sherry Yates Young/123rf.com

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  • Not taking it at the same time every day
    5 / 7 Not taking it at the same time every day

    It’s not just about making it a habit. Taking the pill at the same time every day helps your hormones to have the most consistent effect on your body and cycle, which really is the point, right?

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  • Eating too much grapefruit
    6 / 7 Eating too much grapefruit

    Apparently, grapefruits affect how your body metabolises the active ingredient in the pill. The fruit can decrease enzyme levels in the intestine required for breakdown and also block the breakdown of oestrogen in the body, so try to avoid having more than one grapefruit and avoid having it around the same time as when you take your pill.

    Photo: Pixabay/Pexels

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  • Missing a pill and not using a condom
    7 / 7 Missing a pill and not using a condom

    Ok, a missed pill doesn’t spell pregnancy — especially if you quickly follow the directions on the pack on what to do next. But that doesn’t mean you’re free from doubling up on contraception over the next few days.

    (Also Read: 15 Condom Facts Every Woman Must Know)

    Photo: Sunanta Boonkamonsawat/123rf.com

    A version of this story first appeared in CLEO. Offering an insider perspective on everything a twenty-something woman in Singapore wants or needs to know, CLEO Magazine is now available in both print and digital formats. Visit www.CLEO.com.sg to subscribe.

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