Will the effectiveness of my birth control pill be affected if I vomit?
It depends. If you took your pill two hours or more before you vomited, then it is unlikely that you will need a replacement pill. If you vomit within two hours of taking your pill, you should consider that pill ‘missed’ and take another from a separate pack as soon as you can keep things down. The risk of pregnancy increases if vomiting prevents your body from absorbing a high enough ‘quota’ of estrogen that month to prevent pregnancy. You may want to contact your health care provider anyway in case there are special instructions you need to follow.
If you vomit or have diarrhea due to illness or consumption of too much alcohol while you are taking an oral contraceptive, play it safe and use a back up method of birth control. Use this method of birth control for 7 days after vomiting or diarrhea, even if you have not missed any pills.
If pills are missed due to vomiting bouts and a backup method is not used, emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy, although if you’ve used this method before, guess what, be prepared for nausea and vomiting as side effects of this too-we just can’t win can we, except maybe avoid the one type of nausea we don’t want- ‘morning sickness’.
If, like most women, you forget to take one of your contraceptive pills, then take it later in the day and then take another at bedtime, when you normally would take one, thus causing you to take two pills in one day (which is fine) this also can make you feel a bit queasy.
Low dose pills like Alesse, Yaz and Mircette are just as effective as high dose pills for preventing pregnancy but missing a low dose pill puts you at greater risk of getting pregnant than missing a high dose pill.
Crazy isn’t it, that one of the side effects experienced by some women who take birth control pills is nausea and vomiting, (this side effect usually goes away after the first few months of use) and if you DO suffer severe vomiting when on the ‘pill’ you’ve defeated the whole purpose for taking them in the first place! Taking your pill with food or taking it before bedtime may help to alleviate nausea.
Severe vomiting should be reported to a physician IMMEDIATELY (and a condom used if you still feel like sex under these circumstances!) as this is not a normal side effect. The contraceptive pill continues to be a popular choice because it is easy to use, convenient and is a reversible method of birth control.
Carole Pemberton is committed to researching and presenting the latest information on contraceptives, including Alesse and Mircette to empower women to fully experience their sexuality and knowledgeably manage their birth control.
For a FREE E-BOOK that answers all your common birth control questions please drop by HERE