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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Diarrhea on birth control

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Author Topic: Diarrhea on birth control
soscaredx
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I'm on my second pack of Sprintec. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I take it at around 12 p.m. everyday. Today, at around 2:30 p.m., I had diarrhea. I've heard that if that happens within 3 hours of taking the pill, that the pill is considered missed. Is this true? If so, what is the appropriate thing to do when this happens? Should I take another pill now?
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Heather
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Diarrhea is a term that's used to mean not just one loose stool, but several, usually over the course of more than a day.

So, if you mean you had a loose stool -- rather than diarrhea -- then this isn't something you really need to be concerned about, and there also shouldn't be a need to take another pill.

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soscaredx
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Oh, okay. That makes sense.

I've had stomach problems lately due to not following the low fat diet for my gallbladder troubles... but today was the only time I've had a loose stool. It only happened once. If it doesn't happen again tomorrow, I guess there's nothing to worry about, then.

Thanks [Smile]

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Heather
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If I can give you a little bit of unsolicited advice? (If not, feel free to ignore me.)

As someone whose gallbladder and appendix literally ruptured inside my body and almost killed me, I'd strongly advise following a doctor's advice. I sure wish we'd had any idea that I had food issues and allergies that were messing up my gallbladder before serious illness and surgeries that cost money, gave me lifelong health issues, and also really made a mess of my life at the time.

So. On that score, this is something to worry about, not per your pill, but per your health.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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soscaredx
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I had another bout of it this morning. It doesn't seem severe. I don't think it's full blown sever diarrhea, I think it's just a couple of cases of loose stool. I'm just worried that because I was so early in my second pack when it happened (pill 13), that if I miss one pill, I could still ovulate or something. My boyfriend and I had sex on my pill 9 of my second pack. We used a condom, but once again, there was a bit of condom slippage as there was the 1st time we had sex. But we should be okay per that incident.

Regarding yesterday... wouldn't two and a half hours be enough time for the pill to be absorbed? I'm about to take my 14th pill in a couple of minutes. I'm going to hope that this upset stomach stuff is over.

Thanks for the advice. I have a mild case of gallstones. My doctor told me that having my gallbladder out isn't necessary at this point, but to try and follow a low fat diet. I'm normally good about doing this, but every now and then when things in my life get hectic, I kind of eat what's easiest for me (fast food). I know that's not good for me and hopefully I can learn to better manage my time and plan out healthier meals.

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Heather
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Really, the advice here would be for you to use a backup method, which you have been doing already, so it's all good. [Smile] I'd just keep using that backup for this cycle if this continues.

Yes, we tend to absorb/digest medications way more quickly than over two hours.

Happy to help you with fast food alternatives if you need them, btw. After all, lots of healthy foods without a ton of grease can be quick and easy. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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soscaredx
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Not pertaining to diarrhea on birth control, but I figured I'd ask in this post that I made earlier...

I've taken nearly 3 full packs of Sprintec. I take my last inactive pill of the third pack tomorrow. I've taken all of the active pills within the three hour window, save one. A couple of days ago, I noticed that it was 1:30, and I usually take my pill at 12. Not thinking, I decided to take the pill without any liquid. I had ate somewhere around 11:30. Will swallowing BC pills without liquid make them less effective?

Also, my job and the hours that I work has made my schedule a little hectic the past few days, leading me to take my inactive pills quite a bit later than my usual 12 o'clock. I don't think that I've taken any of them outside of the three hour window. I know that it is ideal that I take the active pills as close to 12 as possible... I just thought that it didn't matter so much with the inactive ones. Does taking the inactive ones a bit later decrease effectiveness?

Thank you so much for your help. [Smile]

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Onionpie
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Hi soscaredx. Your inactive pills - the ones taken during the week when you get your withdrawal bleed - are just there to help keep you in the habit of taking the pills. They're placebo pills, also known as "sugar pills", so they don't affect anything at all. So taking those late won't change the pill's effectiveness -- in fact, some people don't even bother taking them at all if they feel they can trust themselves to remember to start taking pills again once it's time for the new cycle to begin [Smile]
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soscaredx
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Back one more time. Hopefully for the last time. My boyfriend and I decided a little while ago, to get tested. We talked, and felt we were ready to have sex without a condom. I didn't want to without making sure we were clear of STDs. We got tested, and we are. So, there's no worries about that.

I asked a question at the beginning of this about diarrhea on birth control. I'm back on that. I've noticed that more often than not, my stools regardless of what I have ate, are soft. Would this affect the absorption of my pills? Also, say I had a loose, watery stool BEFORE I took my pill during the day, would that affect it? And I know we've been over this, but even if I had a watery stool, it would have to happen a second or a third time in a day to be considered diarrhea, right?

Right now, I'm comfortable with the level of protection that I get from the combined methods of birth control that we use (withdrawal and the pill) because I read on an article that even in typical use, those methods combined are still around 97.84% effective. But, I'm not so comfortable when I don't know that my pills are being absorbed properly. If this keeps up, I think I'm going to have a talk with the doctor, and see what other kinds of methods (patch or shot) I could look into that wouldn't leave me guessing so much.

As always, thanks for helping me out so much when I have these questions [Smile]

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Redskies
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Hi,

When talking about the pill's effectiveness, what matters isn't the consistency of stools, it's how long the matter is in your body to enable absorption.

First of all, any bowel movement Before you take a pill won't affect its absorption, because that pill wasn't in your body at the time that that stool passed through your system.

Loose or watery stools don't count as diarrhoea. A person with diarrhoea would tend to Really know about it! Usually, the matter we consume takes hours and hours to pass through our stomach and digestive system. Diarrhoea is when this matter travels through much, much faster. Someone with diarrhoea would typically feel ill and/or have pains in the stomach/belly region, or be aware that what they're consuming is coming out of them Way soon after they ate it, or be aware that when they need to use the toilet it's Way urgent, or that what's coming out of them is more running or flowing rather than a usual bowel movement.

If you're not experiencing those kinds of things, and you don't have any medical condition that impacts your digestive system's absorption, you can be sure that your pill is being absorbed properly.

Of course, if you feel unsure about anything that your body's doing, it's always a good idea just to check in with a doctor. If you'd feel more secure, for any reason, with a different reliable method of birth control, that's absolutely fine too.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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soscaredx
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Oh, okay. That makes sense. And makes me feel a lot better too. I've only had one instance of that this month (with the stomach cramps and feeling ill), and I only had one bout of watery stool that day. And I abstained from sex for nearly two weeks (taking all of my pills during that time on time) after that. Plus it happened over an hour after taking my pill.

Yesterday, I actually took my diarrhea concerns to a pharmacist (I couldn't call the Doctor because they aren't there on Saturdays), and he told me that I really shouldn't be too concerned about mild diarrhea because the pill absorbs fairly fast.

I'm just going to try not to be too concerned about it. From what I've heard from the pharmacist and you guys, it's nothing to be overly concerned about.

I appreciate your answer so much.

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