If used correctly, hormonal birth control has a 99 percent success rate. But if you forget to take a pill, it only works 91% of the time. Other elements, such as specific vitamins and supplements that may interact inadvertently, could also affect how effective it is.
When taken simultaneously, birth control pills and some supplements may interfere with the enzyme, making them less effective and increasing the risk of side effects, such as unintended births. The vitamins and supplements that may conflict with your birth control are listed below.
John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
In the United States, St. John’s Wort is a nutritional supplement that is available over-the-counter. According to Jacobson, the plant is used to cure the symptoms of depression. “St. John’s Wort accelerates the metabolism of OCs, reducing the quantity of hormones absorbed from OCs. Higher rates of breakthrough bleeding and an unwanted pregnancy may result from this.
Although Jacobson notes that people, particularly millennials, take activated charcoal in smaller doses “for unfounded claims of health benefits, including removing toxins from the body and skin,” this is despite the fact that it is used as a detoxifier in treating patients in the emergency department for suspected poisoning. The charcoal “may bind to OC hormones in your intestines and render them ineffective” if you take your OCs around the same time you eat charcoal, according to the study.
Isoflavones, a kind of phytoestrogen, are found in soy products including tofu and tempeh. Phytoestrogens are substances that are found in plants and foods and function in the body similarly to estrogen. According to Jacobson, “Phytoestrogens have been studied for potential benefits in menopausal symptoms like hot flushes and osteoporosis, as well as lowered risks of cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes, as well as brain function disorders, breast cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer, and other cancers. The estrogen in birth control may be affected by phytoestrogens, in theory. To ascertain the impact of phytoestrogens on birth control, more research is required.
Reddit wasn’t having it when this woman’s ‘ignorant’ husband completely discounted her period pain.
According to Jacobson, consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice may affect how much medication, especially OCs, is absorbed by the body. Grapefruit has been demonstrated to reduce the body’s natural estrogen breakdown, according to the author. Therefore, estrogen from birth control may stay in your system for longer. To pinpoint the precise impact of grapefruit on hormone control, more research is required. The occasional use of grapefruit should not cause any issues, however excessive consumption of grapefruit may affect the way your body processes certain medications.
Do these vitamins and supplements have any substitutes?
Jacobson suggests discussing your intentions to take supplements, including vitamins and minerals, with your physician if you’re using birth control. Consider switching from an OC to an other type of hormonal contraception that does not interfere with St. John’s Wort if you are successfully treating depressive symptoms with the herb, she advises. Talk to your doctor about other options including prescription anti-depressants and talk therapy if St. John’s Wort is inadequate at addressing depression symptoms.
What are some guidelines one should examine or discuss with their doctor before taking vitamins and supplements?
Jacobson advises sharing all medications, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and supplements you are taking with your healthcare provider before talking about birth control so they can discuss any potential drug interactions as well as any scientific evidence that supports or contradicts the supplements you are taking. “Remember, more isn’t always better. Dietary supplements that supply extra nutrients can aid in achieving prescribed nutrient targets, but they also carry the risk of causing overconsumption and harming your kidney and liver function. First, make an effort to change your diet in order to attain your goals.
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