You have probably heard this before: The Pill doesn’t work if you’re on antibiotics.
However, an item we encountered this morning has made us revisit this age-old misnomer.
Kathryn Roethel, in an article for the San Francisco Chronicle, writes that antibiotics might not mess with birth control pills, after all.
Though most prescription antibiotics and oral contraceptives feature advisories that the former might aversely impact the latter — and though “there have even been court cases in which couples argued that doctors or drug companies were responsible for their unplanned pregnancies” — only one drug, rifampin, might interfere with birth control, she says.
Roethel writes: “For all other antibiotics, multiple studies have failed to find a definitive link between the drugs and birth control failures.”
Why does the myth persist, then?
Well, as we have mentioned before, oral contraceptives sure as shit are not the best form of birth control — THEY HAVE A FAILURE RATE OF 9 PERCENT and ARE 20 TIMES LESS EFFECTIVE THAN INTRAUTERINE DEVICES WHICH IS SCARY, SCARY SHIT!!!
Anyway, Roethel reasons, some women who get pregnant on The Pill might cite other factors — such as antibiotic use — for contraception problems, even though such accidents might simply be more common with oral birth control.
Planned Parenthood points out, however, that birth control and other drugs might not have the best relationship, such as some anti-HIV, anti-seizure, and anti-fungal meds.
And do be careful: The pill can exaggerate the effects of some common psychiatric meds, such as Xanax.
(Read the extensive list here.)
Of course, the only way to further minimize you chances of accidental pregnancy is to use a backup form of birth control, Roethel notes.
So, ladies, if you want to be extra safe, tell your men to wrap it up for a month post-antibiotics.
Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.