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Author Topic: BC Pill Questions- Need urgent confirmation!
WorriedGirl11
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Hi.

So here's the issue.

On my 5th day of my new pill pack (I run pill packs due to anaemia, so I don't know what day of my cycle it would be!) I had stomach aches in the morning and looser stools than usual. I always have quite soft stools (sorry about the TMI) but this was looser. It may have been watery but I can't remember!

I got the stomach aches and the loose stool about 3-4 hours after taking my pill. That morning I had sex using a condom. I had to leave the house and so didn't go to the bathroom until much later, after the stomach ache had gone, and although my stool was loose it didn't seem any looser than normal. That night I had sex without a condom, but we pulled out and put a condom on before he finished.

The next day, I had sex with a condom, but when he pulled out, the condom remained inside me (the end was still outside) and there was a spill on the bed.

What is my level of risk here? Would the looser stools twice in that day be enough to affect my pill? I can't remember how I was on the 6th day as regards stools but it definitely wasn't watery.

I just wanted to know how severe in general diarrhea has to be to affect the BC pill- I went to one pharmacist who said any loose stool at all would affect it, and, despite being within 3 days of the incident, she told me "nothing could be done" and I'd have to take a pregnancy test!
The next pharmacist I went to (I thought it was a bit weird I wasn't offered Plan B, and just told I was possibly pregnant) said one loose stool is not diarrhea, and I should be safe.


I was on antibiotics in my last pack, but I used a barrier method for the two weeks after finishing them. Also as for condoms- he doesn't seem to hold the base when he pulls out and doesn't pull out straight away every time, after a few seconds he does- is there a massive risk there? I'll be asking him to stop this and be more careful from now on anyway. (:

Thank you!

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Onionpie
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Hi WorriedGirl. For loose stool to affect your pill you'd have to have diarrhea -- that is, VERY loose stool, and for a few days (and even then, some pharmacists do say the effectiveness still shouldn't be compromised). That's because it doesn't take long for your body to absorb the hormones from your pill, and it's absorbed before it ever reaches your intestine tract where your stool is formed.

And having severe diarrhea would be the exception because that messes up your WHOLE digestive tract -- what you eat isn't spending enough time in your stomach to be properly absorbed. So having slightly looser stool than usual, for one day, isn't going to have that same affect on your digestive tract. Does that make sense?

If you want to be doubly sure, you can call the pharmacy that provides your pill, or you can call your doctor, or the pill manufacturers.

[ 08-26-2012, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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WorriedGirl11
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So it'd be the kind of diarrhea that you'd *know* you have- when you feel very ill and unwell and just horrible?

Thank you! I've found so much conflicting information online, and the yasmin pack doesn't tell you what severe diarrhea constitutes- a bit ridiculous, really.

So there's no risk here? I'm covered? (:

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Onionpie
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Yep, precisely! Diarrhea is defined as lasting several days, and your stool has to actually be very loose, not just softer than usual. So yep, it sounds like your pill's effectiveness wasn't compromised at all [Smile]
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WorriedGirl11
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Thank you! I just had a bit of a worried moment I suppose. I always panic when it's softer than usual, but I don't think it was liquid so that seems to be ok! (:
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Onionpie
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No problem! Happy to clarify that for you [Smile]
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WorriedGirl11
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Oh just to clarify, if the condom got stuck inside me and spilled onto the bed, my BC would still cover that incident wouldn't it?

And I'm on antibiotics now, so I don't think I could take Plan B!

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Onionpie
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As long as the condom malfunctioning didn't coincide with when you were on antibiotics, your pill's effectiveness wasn't compromised and so it would have protected you from pregnancy.

Also, holding onto the base of the condom IS an important part of using it properly. So do make sure your boyfriend is aware of that fact from now on [Smile]

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WorriedGirl11
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Oh okay- I got diarrhea today because of the antibiotics and worried it'd affect previous days, but that sounded a bit silly even in my head. [Razz]

I'll be telling him that. Is there another form of protection we could use with a condom in case that fails while I'm on the antibiotics? I'm terrified since the slip and don't want to risk it again!

Also, as far as lube goes- we use durex lube (durex is the brand of condom here, so we use the same brand lube)- does that give any extra protection?

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Onionpie
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No worries, it's a legitimate question! Antibiotics and diarrhea won't affect a previous day's effectiveness since you'd have long since absorbed the hormones from that pill, so it's only on the day-of and after that either of those things may compromise your pill's effectiveness.

There are various forms of birth control you could use to back up your condoms. Here's an article that talks about all the possible pairings (obviously none of the hormonal options will apply to you right now because of the antibiotics, unfortunately, but there are still some non-hormonal options available) along with detailing their effectiveness rates so you can decide which one will be best for you:
The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method


Lube doesn't provide any protection in and of itself, although it is part of proper condom use so without it you'd be at more risk of the condom malfunctioning. There is spermicidal lubricant available, however this doesn't provide a ton of protection, and a lot of people find it irritates the skin of their vulva. So if that's a method you would consider, you'd have to make sure you're not sensitive to it before dolloping a load on during sex, otherwise it may not end so well [Razz]

[ 08-26-2012, 09:02 PM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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Onionpie
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I just saw your post in the other forum -- definitely don't go with spermicidal lubricant then, since they would make your UTI worse.

I saw you mentioned that this is the second UTI you've had within a month. Do you know about ways to help prevent getting UTIs? It's recommended that you pee and wash your genitals before and/or after engaging in penis-in-vagina sex, and making sure your/your partner's hands are washed before participating in manual sex or masturbation.

I used to get UTIs incredibly frequently, but starting the peeing+washing ritual worked wonders for me, so if you haven't already, I definitely suggest you try it [Smile]

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WorriedGirl11
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I do all those things (I have a cleanliness OCD so I tend to research everything to do with sex and being clean!). The reason I get the UTIs is because I only have one kidney, and recently I developed an inability to drink too much alcohol as it's too acidic- I was only told this was the cause after this most recent UTI came about! Not so much fun for me.
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WorriedGirl11
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I just had a look at the article.

As far as I can see, these are my options:

Male Condoms + the Sponge
Male Condoms + Withdrawal

I can't use fertility awareness as I run the pill to prevent anaemic problems, so I have no idea what part of my cycle I'm on! And the diaphragm needs spermicide, and spermicide is out of the question really.

My problem with withdrawal would be that if the condom slipped, or broke (it's only ever slipped once in the 8 months I used it but it freaked me out!) then I would be unable to take EC because of the antibiotics. But if I felt comfortable with the condoms, I'd just ask him if he could pull out and I'd give him oral to keep him happy after.

The sponge- I'm not entirely sure how to use this, or whether or not I'd be completely comfortable doing it! Could you explain this some more please? [Smile]

EDIT- Sorry, I just read up on sponges and even they have spermicide! Is withdrawal really my only option while on antibiotics?

[ 08-27-2012, 07:54 AM: Message edited by: WorriedGirl11 ]

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WorriedGirl11
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Oh, and I had another question-

The last time I had a UTI I was put on ciprofloxacin for the infection, which interferes with my yasmin as far as I know.

On the last day of the antibiotics (took my last one that morning) I had sex with a condom but he didn't hold the base as he pulled out.. I didn't see any spills, and it didn't break, so what's the risk there?

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Robin Lee
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Likely not much of one, since you had two methods working for you. Many antibiotics are known to interact with birth control, but it isn't always known how they interact.

In future when something is prescribed for you you can ask whether it will impact the effectiveness of your birth control.

Just be sure one of you holds the base of the condom from here on in as that's one of the steps to effective condom use. [Smile]

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Robin

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WorriedGirl11
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I'll make sure of that from now on! I just thought since the antibiotic was taken in the morning it might interfere with my pill, and that'd mean I'd be relying on that condom.

I asked, but my doctor is south african, and not very clear! He actually went "Some say it interacts, I have to warn you, I don't believe it myself, never seen it!" so I left even more confused if I'm honest!

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Robin Lee
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Nodding...I can understand your confusion. There is evidence that certain medicines can interact, but it's not always known exactly how they do so.

A pharmacist is also a good person to ask about medicine interactions, side effects, etc; they generally have the latest information on that sort of thing.

--------------------
Robin

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WorriedGirl11
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The last pharmacist I went to told me one loose stool could ruin my pill and that I'm possibly pregnant! I think I'll go to my doctor in my college- she's much younger and up to date on these things.

But I don't think it's a huge risk as the condom didn't fail, and even if my pill was compromised, it'd probably still work a small amount, so I'd have that added protection too. [Smile]

Thanks anyway for the help!

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Heather
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Sounds like that pharmacist needs to either update their education about these medications or refer these kinds of questions to another pharmacist. Also sounds like they need a serious lesson in how to give patient education!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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WorriedGirl11
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I know, I had to outright say to her "The packaging says 'severe diarrhea' so could you just medically define that for me, please?"


She stuck to her guns, and even tried to make me buy a pregnancy test. She also said that after less than 3 days, there's nothing can be done to prevent a pregnancy- not even EC, which covers 72 hours. Ridiculous. :/

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Heather
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Wow, so fraud on top of just poor service. [Frown]

If you're up to it? I'd actually call in, ask to talk to a supervisor, and report that person.

(Also? EC can prevent pregnancy up to 120 hours or FIVE days after a risk. It just works best in 24, and more effectively within 72 than 120.)

--------------------
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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WorriedGirl11
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The brands we have in Ireland only work for 72 hours, I had to ask the doctor if we had the 120 hour one yet! It's unfortunate, but she said the EC we have would be practically ineffective after 72 hours and barely worth taking. :/

Yeah, I think I might do that soon!

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Heather
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Actually, that's not true.

The brands you have are some of the same we have here -- in terms of how they are formulated. And the ones we've all had have always had the capacity to work up to 120 hours, that's just information about the MAP that came to light later.

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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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WorriedGirl11
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Oh, okay! Maybe the docs over here just don't know about that yet. (: Thanks! (:
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Heather
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NP.

There *are* a couple new brands -- including one in the UK and Ireland -- which have been found to be more effective on days four or five than other brands, but ANY type of EC can potentially be effective up to 120 hours, not just those brands.

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