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Author Topic: Birth Control and Changing Time Zones
paperlight
Neophyte
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So here's my newest situation..

I started taking bc pills again for about 2 months now and I've been pretty consistent in taking it during the appropriate time everyday. However, I moved to the east coast for the summer (I use to live in the NW US area), altering my conception of time, which is about 3 hours in advance. So, this is what I decided to do: keep taking my pills at the regular west coast hour, but shifting it to east coast time (so for example, I usually take my pills 8:00PM PST. Now, I take them at 11:00PM EST). I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now. This weekend, my boyfriend is here for a week's visit and we've had intercourse w/o a condom.

Now that my internal clock has changed, I'm not sure if my bc pills are as effective. My boyfriend and I are pretty confident with just having one form of protection, since we think that the pill is extremely successful in preventing pregnancy. However, with this situation in mind, I am a tad paranoid that we have not been protecting ourselves fully.
Should I be worried?

Please help - thanks in advance!

Posts: 19 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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Combined oral contraceptives have a pretty flexible window: so if you didn't change your time on any given day by more than 12 hours, it's unlikely a change of timing will impact your pill's effectiveness.

If you're on the minipill, however, rather than a combined pill, anything outside three hours CAN reduce effectiveness.

And no matter what, if you feel better about continuing to backup with condoms, you also can certainly keep doing that. After all, anxiety doesn't tend to enhance sexual experiences. [Smile]

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Neophyte
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Thanks so much!
Another question, though, just as an FYI:

is it okay to take Plan B while you are already on the combination pill? Would doing so alter hormone levels greatly?

Posts: 19 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
atm1
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Unless you've missed more than one pill, there's hardly any need for plan B when you're on the combined pill. The effectiveness of plan B is actually less than the typical use effectiveness of combined pills, which takes missing pills into account.

It won't hurt you, but it'll throw your system of of whack for no good reason.

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Neophyte
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Hm, interesting..
Maybe if I explain my situation a bit you can shed more light on it.

I had another UTI last week and have been taking antibiotics (Nitrofurantoin) as treatment. At the same time, I've been using my combination pill as my main form of birth control. Last night I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend, but he did not ejaculate. I understand that pre-cum may pose a pregnancy risk. I am not worried about STDs/HIV because we were both recently screened. I also have heard mixed opinions about the interference of antibiotics on the combination pill. I always have Plan B ready just in case I need to take it, but I'm not sure if I should use it in such a situation.

So, in essence, is antibiotics + regular combination pill + Plan B just an overload of medication? I tried calling the pharmacy and the Plan B hotline but they didn't help me much...

[ 06-28-2009, 04:15 PM: Message edited by: paperlight ]

Posts: 19 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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The classes of antibiotics prescribed for UTIs are generally not the classes thought to potentially interact with the pill.

So, I don't see any need for Plan B here.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Neophyte
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Ok. I've just been reading various articles regarding Nitrofurantoin and some studies show that it does interact with the pill. This is quite confusing and worrisome.

But regardless the possible interference of the antibiotics, should I worry about the pre-ejaculate? If the antibiotic DOES interact with the pill, it just reduces effectiveness, and not necessarily render it ineffective at all, right?

I have a couple of days left before my placebo pills - not sure if this bit of information is important in any way.

Thanks so much!

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Stephanie_1
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That's right, and really they say antibiotics *can* interfere with the pill as a precaution because some of them can lower the effectiveness - but not all do. As Heather said though, those given for UTIs aren't generally those that do this. Though in the future, it may make you feel better just to use two methods of contraception when on any antibiotic, just for your own piece of mind. But still really not seeing a need for EC here.

[ 06-28-2009, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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Neophyte
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thanks so much guys, i feel better
i have 5 more pills before my placebo so i'll just wait and see!

[Smile]

Posts: 19 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Neophyte
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Sorry, another question:

Before I had my UTI I was very good at taking my pills on time so my boyfriend and I did not use any other type of protection. So he ejaculated in me a couple of days BEFORE my UTI started and when I received my antibiotics. Since sperm can live up to 5 days inside a woman, should I be worried about this incident? Was I fully protected by my pill during the time BEFORE I started taking my antibiotics?

The more I think about this, the more questions pop up. Again, my bf and I are pretty comfortable with having the combination pill as the sole form of birth control because I take my pills so diligently. However, I didn't anticipate a situation like this.

We'll definitely use a condom as extra precaution in the future...

[ 06-29-2009, 10:09 PM: Message edited by: paperlight ]

Posts: 19 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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