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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Antibiotics and the pill

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Author Topic: Antibiotics and the pill
ParaPetunia
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Hi [Smile] I was at my boyfriend's house all of last weekend, and ended up with a UTI. I'm now taking antibiotics for that, which I have been told WILL affect my birth control (I am on Microgynon 30).

I'm aware that I need to be extra careful (which for me means just not having sex - we already use condoms as a backup) for the next 2 weeks, but is there any way that using antibiotics now could affect my contraceptive protection from last weekend?

What I mean to ask is whether or not me taking these antibiotics now could be any reason to worry about a potential pregnancy from having intercourse at the weekend.

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Heather
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What were you prescribed for the UTI?

I ask because we list here the medications, including some (but not all) classes of antibiotics known to suspected to interact with the pill: Combined Oral Contraceptives (The Pill) (you'll need to scroll down the page a bit)

If it's not on that list, chances are this isn't anything to worry about, even though it's smart to back up. (And condom use may also help prevent UTIs, too.)

Either way, though, you really only have to worry about medication interactions when you are taking the medication, not for any time before you were.

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ParaPetunia
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It's Trimethoprim, or something like that :S I think it's supposed to cause problems because it can cause severe diarrhoea.

I'm just concerned cus implantation's supposed to take a few days and I only had sex a few days ago, that's all. There's no risk of pregnancy from taking these antibiotics now then?

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Heather
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Really, that's just not something you have to worry about. In order for implantation to happen, all the things leading up to it would have to, and your pill works to get in the way of those things, right from the start.

Only address backing up while you're using the medication (or after, if you like). That you didn't before doesn't mean you have to worry about the antibiotics basically interacting back in time.

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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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ParaPetunia
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Okay [Smile] Thank you, sorry, I just wanted to make sure.
Incidentally, are there any specific lube brands which are known to sometimes help cause a UTI?
I've never had one before, and I can kind of see how I got one this weekend (didn't keep clean enough, didn't drink enough, etc) but I'm just wondering if certain brands or ingredients are known to trigger them.

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Heather
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No worries.

Lubricant likely has nothing to do with UTIs save that when it's not used (and I have never seen any data associating the two), or enough isn't used, genitals can become abraded and raw and more susceptible to UTIs.

UTIs are about bacteria getting into your urinary tract, not ingredients in lubricants.

If you want to do your best to prevent them, stick with the lube, whatever brand you like. Using condoms may help some, since they keep some bacteria from your genitals. Make sure you and your partner are clean -- as in, freshly bathed or showered -- before sex together, and that hands, etc. are also clean. Don't go longer than feels good, urinate before and after, and stay hydrated.

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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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ParaPetunia
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Thank you [Smile]

Another question, because I've just realised something:

I'm off the antibiotics now and I'm supposed to be careful for the next 7 days. However, the next 7 days is supposed to be my "week off", so essentially, I'd be extending my week off by potentially a week, which I know will DEFINITELY diminish my contraceptive protection.
Would you recommend that I take the "week off", or take another week of pills, or not have a week off this cycle? I'm not really sure what to do.

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Heather
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I don't understand what you mean when you say you'll be extending your placebo week: are you saying you intend to NOT start taking your next pill pack at the end of those seven days?

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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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ParaPetunia
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Nonono - I mean that if the antibiotics have affected my pill, taking a week off straight after taking them will surely amount to two weeks off?
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Robin Lee
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Do you mean taking another week off from engaging in sexual activity that can lead to pregnancy?

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Robin

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Heather
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The logic you've got going here isn't sound.

You haven't been off your pill for the week you have been taking antibiotics, so it just doesn't make sense to think like you have. You've simply been using a backup during that week in the event of any interactions between your pill and the antibiotics.

And even if there was any interaction, it's not like antibiotics somehow take the medication (the pill) out of your body: they can't do that.

By all means, back up for as long as you want to: personally, our best advice is for people to always back up with condoms, all the time. But if you don't want to, you don't need to try and do mental gymnastics around this: backing up for a week means just that, and so long as you start your new pack straightaway after your placebo week, your pill, including during the placebo week, should provide you the same amount of protection from pregnancy it always does.

--------------------
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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