Contraceptive Effects – Answers to Common Questions

Nowadays there are many types of contraceptives aimed at women, such as hormonal contraceptives, which prevent an unwanted pregnancy by blocking ovulation in the woman’s body. First known only as a “pill”, they are now available on the market for other technologies and forms of administration in addition to the pill. The different ways to take contraceptive hormones are through:

Today, too, the side effects are already minimized, because pills with fewer hormones circulate on the market. Even so, each body reacts differently to the effects of each contraceptive, and there are also contraindications, in the case of diabetes and a family history of thrombosis . So it is best to always consult a gynecologist when making this choice. And, for those who want to clear their doubts, see the most common ones, answered below.

When does contraceptive start to take effect?

Normally, birth control pills start to take effect from the first pill on the first pack , or, in the case of an injection, from the first injection of the contraceptive. But be careful: not to get pregnant this is only valid if they are taken on the first day of menstruation, according to the recommendation for standard use, and for those who menstruate regularly.

The explanation is that the hormones estrogen and progesterone reach a “safe” level in the body after the first week of use , and, coinciding with the first week of the menstrual cycle, the chance of ovulating before reaching that level is almost nil.

Predicting non-compliance with this rule and cases of women with very short and irregular cycles , some doctors recommend the use of other barrier methods , such as condoms, for the first month of contraceptive use. Another important factor to clarify is that the first day of the rule is considered the one in which the flow goes down “for real”, and not just an escape bleed or a spot before menstruation.

How to Know if Contraceptives Are Taking Effect

The only way to be sure that the contraceptive has worked is, in the case of pills with a break, the bleeding that comes down on the break and the realization that you are not pregnant . There are no symptoms to ensure that the contraceptive is taking effect in the present. The ideal is always to avoid missed doses and to use other contraceptive methods in case of forgetfulness, feeling sick, or taking medications that cut the effect of the contraceptive.

How to Know if Contraceptives Are Not Working

The contraceptive has no effect if it has expired , is not being taken properly, has not been digested by gastrointestinal problems or has interactions with other drugs. There are no specific symptoms that can indicate that it has had no effect. Exhaust bleeds are common when taking contraceptives, but do not indicate that it has lost its effect.

What Cuts the Contraceptive Effect

In the case of the pill, when you forget to take a dose for more than 12 hours after the usual time, it is possible to cut the effect. If there is diarrhea and vomiting within 3 hours of taking the pill, it also compromises its effectiveness. And certain remedies can also cut the effect, as we will see below.

Medicines and Remedies that Cut the Contraceptive Effect

Research is still being improved on interactions, but so far what is known is that certain medications such as antibiotics, anticonvulsants, barbiturates , antiretrovirals and anabolic steroids can cut the effect of the contraceptive. See in detail which remedies that decrease the effect of contraceptive hormones:

Antibiotics: Rifampicin, Rifabutin, derivatives of Penicillin, Doxicillin, Erythromycin, Cyclacillin, Ampicillin, Clavulanic Acid, Oxacillin, Amoxicillin, Tetracycline, Chloramphenicol and Dapsone.
Antiepiléticos e Anticonvulsionantes Carbamazepina e Oxcarbazepina, Topiramato, Difenil.-hidantoina, Primidona, Fenobarbital e Fenitoína.
Antifungals and Antiprotozoa Griseofulvina, Metronidazole
Antiretrovirals Efavirenz, Nelfinavir, Ritonavir and Nevirapine
Diuretic for hypertension Spironolactone
Phytotherapic Saint John’s herb

What Cuts the Effect of Injectable Contraceptives

In the case of contraceptives by injection, only drugs with drug interactions are at risk of reducing the effects of contraception, as there is no risk of forgetting the pills or not digesting.

Is It True That Antibiotic Cuts The Contraceptive Effect?

Studies and theories that indicate the possibility of certain types of antibiotics cutting off the effect of contraceptives are still not a consensus among experts , as there is no 100% sure evidence of this correlation. The hypothesis would be that the elimination of certain bacteria from the intestine would impair the contraceptive effect. In any case, prevention is better than risk, isn’t it?

List of Antibiotics That Cut the Contraceptive Effect

The types of antibiotics that can compromise the effect of the contraceptive, indicated for uncontrolled studies, are:

  • Rifampicin
  • Rifabutina
  • Penicillin Derivatives
  • Doxicillin
  • Erythromycin
  • Cyclacillin
  • Ampicillin
  • Clavulanic Acid
  • Oxacilina
  • Amoxiline
  • Tetracycline
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Diaminodiphenylsulfone

How to Cut the Contraceptive Effect

For those who want to get pregnant and stop using the contraceptive, it is recommended to stop taking the pill after the last pack. Thus, bleeding will come and the cycle will start again with the woman being able to ovulate. If you stop taking the contraceptive in the middle of the cycle, the hormones can become unbalanced and have side effects. In some women, it may take a few months for the cycle to return to regular and increase the chances of becoming pregnant.

When Does Contraceptive Lose Effect?

Continued use of the contraceptive does not make it lose its effect. The only three possibilities for the contraceptive to have no effect are:

  • Missing doses: especially if it is the last or the first
  • Vomiting or diarrhea after taking the pill
  • Concomitant use of some medicines

Taking advantage of the space I want to tell a novelty to our readers who intend to have a baby in the future or have a couple friend who is trying to get pregnant. In partnership with the company Famivita, we developed some products that help in the fertility of men and women, among them fertility vitamins that potentiates FamiFerti ovulation   and in the case of men improves the quality of sperm, ViriFerti, as well as the ovulation test, pregnancy test and the FamiGel lubricating gel. You can  purchase them here  in our online store.

See Also: Side Effects of Contraceptive Methods

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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother. Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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