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Author Topic: Birth Control Pills and Being Sick
ScarcelyHeard
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How long does it take for a birth control pill to be absorbed into your system? Is it kind of like taking Tylonol, for example, it's safe to take one four hours after taking the first.

I took mine pill at 7:30 and four and a half hours later, I was sick to my stomach (argh, I hate being ill! Tonight I have a date with the clinic)

Hopefully the pill did what it was supposed to do. I'm just checking to be on the safe side.

Another two questions.

If I were to ever throw up my pill, what would I do?

If I'm put on antibiotics which affect birth control pills, how will I know when my pills become effective again? Does effectiveness vary with antibiotics? This is something I should ask my doctor, but I'm just curious if there is anything general that I should know.

Thank you.

Posts: 80 | From: Canada's East Coast | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Karybu
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It takes about two to three hours for your pill to be absorbed into your system - since you got sick four and a half hours after taking your pill, the effectiveness shouldn't be compromised. However, if you'd feel safer backing up with condoms for the rest of this cycle, there's absolutely no harm in that.

Same deal if you throw up your pill say, immediately after taking it: missing one pill isn't likely to reduce the effectiveness by too much, especially if you've been consistent with taking them up to that point, but it's always a good idea in situations like that to use a backup method for the rest of the cycle. If that ever does happen, simply continue taking your pills as normal (don't try and replace the pill you missed with the next day's, because that will put you one pill short for the rest of the cycle).

With antibiotics, we recommend using a backup method of birth control until you've finished the cycle in which you were on the antibiotics, if that makes any sense. So, say you were prescribed a week-long course of amoxicillin during the second week of your pill pack: you'd want to use another method of birth control until you'd finished that pack and started the next. Make sense?

[ 12-01-2006, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Karybu ]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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ScarcelyHeard
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Thank you for the information. It's good to know that if I were to be put on medication, that my next pack I would be fine again.

Hopefully they won't prescribe my amoxicillin... that's the only medication I'm allergic to [Wink]

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Karybu
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Heh, yeah I'm allergic to it too, so I hear ya. Glad to know my example made sense though. [Smile]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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snowsuit
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Hi,

Thanks for addressing this issue! I had a related question:

I'm going to be traveling abroad to Africa next semester, and I'm anticipating a lot of intestinal troubles. I know that diarrhea, like vomitting, can lower the effectiveness of birth control pills. What I'm wondering is, if I'm sick for a long period of time while adjusting to the country's water, etc., should I wait an entire month/cycle of pills after that to rely on the pills as my only method of birth control? My boyfriend will be visiting me about two months in.

Thanks!

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-Jill
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Yes, you should consider your protection compromised for the entire pack.
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-Lauren-
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Just a small note there: while what ookuotoe said about the pill's effectiveness stands, there are things you can do to prevent or reduce traveller's diarrhea.

A couple months before your trip, start strengthening your immune system through exercise and proper nutrition/supplements, if you aren't already. Doubly important, you can start building up your natural resistance to diarrheal illness by starting to take a probiotic supplement and taking a bottle with you on your trip.

Organic yogurt with plenty of active cultures is a good thing, too, if you don't want to take supplements. The bacteria in the cultures resides in your intestines and helps to fight off intruders. Many people find they get very few, if any, symptoms if they use probiotic therapy before and during their trip. [Smile]

[ 12-02-2006, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: Miss Lauren ]

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