Binge Drinking Increases Pregnancy Risk For Birth Control Pill Users

taking a pill photo

“I puke all the time and have sex with my boyfriend.”

“I don’t really puke when I’m hungover but I puke a lot when I’m drunk. And ever since I started University, I pretty much have sex every weekend when I’m drunk.”

These are some of the more, um, insightful quotes recently used in an article on The Huffington Post, warning young women about the increased pregnancy risks binge drinkers face. But isn’t this advice (“Don’t drink and throw up your birth control”) worth repeating to all women who might get sick (after drinking or for reasons unrelated to alcohol) and not know the risks, not just irresponsible, repeat binge drinkers like the two ladies quoted above? I think so. So, here goes…

Ladies, now that you have made the decision to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy, take the time to consider that certain risky behaviors may render the birth control pill ineffective. Binge drinking is particularly detrimental to the effectiveness of the pill. According to Dr. Plaxton of Dal Health Services, “If you throw up or have diarrhea within half an hour of taking the pill, you should rule it out as a form of contraception.” Of course, we are all aware that drinking too much can certainly lead to both throwing up and diarrhea. So if you plan to have a frisky, alcohol-filled weekend, be sure to have backup birth control options or take the pill well in advance of imbibing. If you throw up for some other reason — the flu, food poisoning, etc. — within 30 minutes of taking the pill, the same advice applies. Got it? Good. [Huffington Post]

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