Birth Control and Alcohol: What You Need to Know

By Dr. Drai
By Dr. Drai

Hi #GYNEGirls! It’s me Dr. Drai. Ladies, do you take your birth control pill right before going out to the club? Have you ever thrown up from drinking too much alcohol? Have you ever had a one night stand after throwing up? If you have answered Yes to these questions you may be at risk of your birth control pills not working properly. OMG… right? Before we dive into how alcohol affects birth control, let’s review the different types of contraception. Birth control is used for exactly what its named for- to prevent pregnancy. Some forms have added benefits like also protecting you from getting an STDs.

Here’s one of my FAV lists- 16 forms of contraception.

1.ThePill has been around for over 50 years. There are two types of birth control pills: one containing both estrogen and progesterone AND one containing progesterone only. Birth control pills are meant to be taken every day. They block the ovary from releasing eggs.

2. The Patch is a thin Band-Aid looking patch that is placed on the skin once weekly. It also prevents the ovaries from producing eggs. The Patch contains both estrogen and progesterone.

3. The Ring (aka NuvaRing) is a bendable plastic ring that’s inserted in the vagina for 3 weeks by you. You take it out the fourth week to have a period. It also blocks the ovaries from releasing eggs. The NuvaRing contains both estrogen and progesterone

4. The Implant (aka Nexplanon) is a little rod that’s placed under the skin in the non-dominant upper arm by your doctor. It prevents your eggs from being released. The Nexplanon lasts for 3 years and contains the hormone progesterone.

5. The IUD is a T-shaped device made of plastic that’s placed inside of the uterus by your doctor. It works by making sperm immobile. No more swimmers! IUDs are effective for 3-5 years depending on the type you pick. There are currently 5 on the market- Mirena, Paraguard, Skyla, Liletta, and Kyleena. The Paraguard IUD is the only hormone-free one. The other IUDs contain the progesterone hormone.

6. The Depo-Provera Shot is given every 3 months. It prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs. The shot contains the hormone progesterone.

7. The Male Condom (aka External Condom) is the most popular form of birth control. It covers the penis to prevent sperm from entering the vagina AND prevents transmission of STDs. Male condoms come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Here’s a quick guide on using a condom.

Step 1: Lubricate the inside of the condom if needed.
Step 2: Pinch the tip of the condom to prevent air bubbles.
Step 3: Roll the condom down over the tip of his hard penis.
Step 4: Leave some space at the tip so the condom can collect semen.
Step 5: Unroll the condom down his shaft.
Step 6: Lubricate the outside of the condom.
Step 7: After he ejaculates make sure he pulls out immediately. If the penis softens the condom can fall off. Teach him to hold the base of the condom while doing this tip.
Step 8: Tie a knot in the condom and throw it in the trash can NOT THE TOILET.

8.The Female Condom (aka Internal Condom) is a pouch that’s inserted into the vagina that also prevents sperm from entering the vagina AND this condom prevents STDs. Here’s a quick guide on using this type of condom.

Step 1: Find a comfy spot. Stand with one foot on a chair.
Step 2: Squeeze the closed thicker inner ring together with your fingers
Step 3: Insert IT in the vagina just like a tampon. Put the condom in as far back as possible.
Step 4: Let the open thinner outer ring hang on the outside of the vulva.
Step 5: Please guide the penis into the opening of the condom. Don’t trust your BAE to do this! He may enter the vagina on the side of the condom.
Step 6: When you are finished knockin’ the boots, just twist the outer ring to remove it.

9. The Diaphragm is dome-shaped and made of silicone. It’s inserted into the vagina to be placed in front of the cervix. You must use it with spermicide.

10. The cervical cap is a silicone cup that’s inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix. You must use it with spermicide.

11. The sponge is a round piece of plastic foam with a dimple on one side. It already contains spermicide. Spermicide kills sperm.

12. Emergency Contraption can be used up to 120 hours after unprotected sex. It’s best if used within the first 72 hours. There are 4 options on the market-Paraguard, Ella, Plan B, and Yuzpe. Talk to your doctor.

13. Tubal Ligation (aka sterilization) is a surgical procedure that’s done by your doctor to “tie” your tubes. It prevents pregnancy by blocking your fallopian tubes so sperm cannot get to the egg.

14. The Withdrawal method (aka pull out method) is when your man pulls out right before he ejaculates. It’s not that effective. What does Dr. Drai call people who use the pull-out method? #Parents LoL.

15. The Rhythm Method is having sex when you are not ovulating. This one is tricky. Remember you ovulate 14 days BEFORE the first day of your period. Let’s say you have your menses on the 18th of every month. This means you ovulate on the 4th of every month. The egg can only last for 36 hours BUT sperm can live in the vagina for 6 days.

16. Abstinence is when you don’t have any sexual encounters- oral sex, vagina; sex, or anal sex.

NOW let’s get back to alcohol’s effect on birth control. Alcohol doesn’t affect birth control; it affects your behavior. If you are drunk, you may not remember to use your birth control correctly or take it on time. Vomiting within 2 hours of taking the birth control pill may decrease its absorption in your body MEANING you may still release an egg. Remember ladies drink alcohol responsibly and use contraception consistently.

Until next time… it’s Dr. Drai.

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