What Foods Affect Birth Control? Eating Grapefruit May Increase Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant
Don't women already have enough to worry about when it comes to their contraception?
Apparently they don't, because now they also have to concern themselves with different foods that may make their birth control less effective.
And one of them just so happens to be my personal favorite breakfast food, because, of course it is.
It turns out eating grapefruit in the morning can potentially disrupt the effectiveness of your birth control.
Yes, it's true.
It may be time for you to swap out that morning citrus for something else, because apparently, grapefruit directly targets your estrogen.
Grapefruit juice can lower levels of something called CYP3A, which is a part of the intestine responsible for helping you metabolize medications.
Changes in CYP3A reduce your body's ability to control concentrations of medicine in your bloodstream -- aka your birth control.
Elite Daily spoke with a couple of experts on the matter, who further confirmed this weird, yet valid phenomenon.
According to Dr. Faisal Tawwab of Multicare Physicians, “Eating a grapefruit in the morning as part of your breakfast can disrupt the effectiveness of some hormonal birth control methods. Grapefruit affects how your body metabolizes estrogen.”
But what is it about grapefruit that makes it so powerful against the very pill that's supposed to keep you safe from procreating?
It's all in the furanocoumarins.
Furanocoumarins are enzymes in the intestines that destroy how much of a drug enters your bloodstream.
So if you're on birth control, and you're fervently eating grapefruits every morning, this special enzyme doesn't allow for your preventative measures to work the way they're supposed to.
It's important to note that grapefruit is not the only fruit possibly responsible for an unplanned pregnancy, but other citrus fruits as well -- such as limes and Seville oranges -- can lead to similar outcomes.
Elite Daily also spoke with Dr. Alex Roher, who explains, “while the occasional glass of grapefruit juice or grapefruit is not likely to have this harmful of an effect, continued interaction can increase your risk.”
If you feel you simply cannot give up your grapefruit in the morning, Dr. Tawwab suggests “speaking to your doctor about switching to a progestin-only pill" to avoid these unpredictable interactions.
He adds that, although grapefruit is something you should approach with caution, it's not solely about avoiding a specific food; it's about getting your proper nutrients while taking hormonal birth control.
Dr. Tawwab tells Elite Daily,
In order for the active hormones to be absorbed, your body needs ample amounts of B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc. While a diet low in these nutrients may not cause birth control to fail in the sense of avoiding pregnancy, it can lead to nutrient deficiencies over time. If you are taking hormonal birth control for other reasons, such as acne, endometriosis, or cycle regulations, low amounts of these nutrients can make your treatment ineffective.
Damn, can't a girl just get her daily dose of citrus in peace?!