Although there is not sufficient evidence to suggest that the use of wide range of antibiotics reduces the effectiveness of hormonal contraception like the combined birth control pills (for e.g.Ovral G), patches, vaginal rings (like Nuvaring), implant, injection [Depo-Provera], intrauterine devices [IUD], and progestin-only pills etc.
Nevertheless, it has been established by various medical literature that two type of antibiotics like rifampin and rifabutin may decrease the effectiveness of some hormonal contraceptives [ with the exclusion of Depo-Provera shot]. Therefore, this increasing the chances of unplanned pregnancy.
Even though there hasn’t been irrefutable evidence that proves antibiotics posing a significant threat to the efficacy of the hormonal birth control, many experts agree that further research is needed to clarify if there is a link between the two.
What are the antibiotics that affect contraceptives?
The wide spectrum antibiotics like the penicillin and tetracycline are utilized to treat a number of bacterial infections [which include sexually transmitted disease]. They help control acne as well. Whereas the antibiotics have lower the effectiveness of hormonal birth control pills like the Yasmin pill are used for particular conditions.
Rifamin helps treat tuberculosis and Rifabutin assists in treating mycobacterium avium complex [MAC] infection for those who suffer from HIV.
There is enough evidence to conclude that both reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraception. This includes mini-pill as well as combined oral hormonal contraceptive like Ovral G or Loette. It also affects other hormonal contraceptives like the patch and vaginal ring.
It decreases the birth control effectivity by reducing the progestin and estrogen levels in the body.
If a person is prescribed these drugs, then they may use other contraception methods like barrier techniques like [condoms/cervical caps/ diaphragms] during the course of medication.
Linking antibiotics with hormonal contraception
Though the above-mentioned medication posed a risk to lower contraceptive effectiveness, some research has been attempted to find whether there are other potential antibiotics, include in the wide spectrum of variety, to interfere with the efficacy of hormone contraceptives.
For e.g. two more recent large-scale studies [ conducted in America and Netherlands] have not definitively found a link between antibiotic usage and oral combined contraceptive failure. However, both studies had a limitation, i.e. inability to control variables entirely dependent on users [missed dosage, the infrequent timing of dosage, the frequency of intercourse etc.].
Excluding the studies, it’s noted that females who experience diarrhea, irregular menstrual cycles, nausea/vomiting or gastrointestinal disorders when taking antibiotics may also want to think about taking extra contraception – backup options as the above factors may reduce the effectiveness of the oral contraceptives.
Other drugs that may reduce the hormonal birth control’s effectiveness
Other drugs that reduce the effectivity of birth control pills are anti-seizure drugs, certain types of anti-retroviral drugs, supplements like John’s Warts and some anti-fungal medicines.
Therefore, it better to keep your physician in the look of what type of antibiotics you are taking with the kind of birth control you are using. With this knowledge, correct medication will be prescribed to you to prevent negative drug interactions.