Does Alcohol Affect Birth Control? Here’s What You Should Know About Mixing The Two
If you've ever worried about whether or not you can drink alcohol while taking your birth control, I'm here to put your mind at ease, my friend. You may be surprised to realize alcohol doesn't necessarily have an effect on your birth control that you need to worry about. Rather, alcohol has an effect on you, which in turn, could affect your birth control.
I know, you're probably confused. Let me explain.
When you take your birth control, the pill is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, but your body, on the other hand, may not keep up its full end of the bargain, according to Healthline. Essentially, the effects of alcohol can increase the chances of your birth control failing.
While under the influence of alcohol, your body is trying its hardest to do its job -- only, it's under-performing. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol affects the brain's communication pathways, so your brain is unable to send signals to the rest of your body as efficiently as it normally would.
It's not that alcohol affects your birth control directly; rather, birth control can affect how drunk you feel when you're already drinking.
Basically, while your liver is trying to metabolize alcohol, the hormones from the birth control interfere with that process and reduce your liver's ability to really break down the liquor -- which may leave you feeling way more drunk than usual.
In other words, alcohol and birth control don't really mingle well. It's generally safe to have both in your system, but the two don't exactly cooperate with one another.
Once your brain isn't functioning at an optimal level, you're more likely to make a mistake when taking birth control.
So your actions under the influence of alcohol could potentially be jeopardizing the effects of your birth control.
Alcohol makes it easy to be irresponsible when taking birth control, meaning you may miss your alarm to take the pill, you may accidentally skip a pill, or you may even vomit up the pill as a result of drinking too much.
Elite Daily spoke with Dr. Brian A. Levine, a fertility expert, OBGYN and director of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine New York, who weighed in on the matter.
Alcohol, of course, clouds your judgment, and modern-day birth control is very low-dose, which means it's ever so more important to take your birth control at the right time every day. If you're drinking and you're hungover, you may forget to take your pill, and if you're drinking, that might make you more prone to having sex unprotected. So that could put you at risk of making poor decisions and not being protected.
So, if you're taking birth control, maybe think twice before you down that extra shot of tequila.
Everything in moderation, amirite?