It’s pretty rare to get pregnant while properly (the key is properly) taking birth control pills, yet many women feel a little voice of paranoia in the back of their head about the different things that could go wrong. One such worry that many ob-gyns hear is, “Will antibiotics mess up my birth control?”
That’s a no, according to ob-gyn Kecia Gaither, MD. Most antibiotics, like those used for sore throats and yeast infections (bleh), don’t have any impact on your birth control’s effectiveness. We repeat: Antibiotics for your UTI won’t affect how your birth control pills work. (Cue the collective sigh of relief.)
But, there’s a but. There are two antibiotics that can decrease the effectiveness of your daily birth control pill: rifampin and rifabutin. But docs prescribe these antibiotics for more serious conditions like tuberculosis, so there’s a good chance you’ll never need to take them.
That said, it’s always crucial to share with your doc about what medications you’re taking (including birth control) to make sure none of them will have potentially negative or even dangerous interactions. Although commonly prescribed antibiotics are safe to use with your ring, patch, or pill, other kinds of medication can interfere, like drugs used to treat bipolar disorder. But even that is not a cause for alarm. Certain types of birth control (IUDs, implants, the shot, and condoms) aren’t affected by the medication you take. A candid chat with your ob-gyn will help you find the right birth control option for your health needs.
This video features Dr. Kecia Gaither, MD. Kecia Gaither, MD, an ob-gyn and maternal fetal medicine specialist, is director of perinatal services at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, a member of NYC Health + Hospitals System in Bronx, New York.