Hormonal contraception is 99 % efficient if used completely. However in case you miss a tablet, then it solely turns into 91 % efficient. There are different elements that might additionally work together with its efficacy, together with sure nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements that may have undesirable interactions.
“Oral contraceptives (OCs) are absorbed within the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. After absorption, the estrogen element of OCs is metabolized within the liver by a selected enzyme system referred to as cytochrome P450,” Dr. Mary Jacobson, the Chief Medical Officer over at Alpha Medical, explains to SheKnows.
Contraception tablets and sure dietary supplements can have a conflicting interplay with the enzyme, which implies when taken collectively, the contraception may turn into much less efficient leading to negative effects, together with unplanned pregnancies. Under is a listing of nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements that might intrude along with your contraception.
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
St. John’s Wort is a dietary complement which individuals can purchase over-the-counter within the U.S. and based on Jacobson the plant is used to deal with depressive signs. “St. John’s Wort hurries up metabolization of OCs which decreases the quantity of hormones in OCs that are absorbed. This could result in larger charges of breakthrough bleeding and an undesired being pregnant.”
Whereas activated charcoal is used as a detoxifier in treating sufferers within the emergency division for suspected poisoning, Jacobson notes that individuals, particularly millennials take it in smaller doses “for unfounded claims of well being advantages, together with eradicating toxins from the physique and pores and skin.” Nonetheless, in case you take your OCs across the identical time you eat charcoal, “the charcoal might bind to OC hormones in your intestine and render them ineffective.”
Soy merchandise, resembling tofu and tempeh, include isoflavones that are a kind of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens are compounds present in crops and meals that act just like estrogen within the physique. “Phytoestrogens have been studied for potential advantages in menopausal signs like sizzling flushes and osteoporosis, lowered dangers of heart problems, weight problems, metabolic syndrome and kind 2 diabetes, mind operate issues, breast most cancers, prostate most cancers, bowel most cancers and different cancers,” Jacobson explains. “Phytoestrogens can theoretically affect the estrogen in contraception. Nonetheless, extra analysis is required to find out the results of phytoestrogens on contraception.”
In accordance with Jacobson, consuming grapefruit or consuming grapefruit juice may affect the quantity of many medicines, together with OCs that your physique absorbs. “Grapefruit has been proven to gradual the breakdown of estrogen from OCs in your physique,” she says. “So, estrogen out of your contraception might hold round in your system longer. Extra analysis is required to find out the precise impact of grapefruit on hormone regulation. Often consuming grapefruit shouldn’t be an issue however consuming loads of grapefruit might affect metabolism of medicines which you’re taking.’
Are there alternate options to those nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements?
In the event you’re on contraception, Jacobson advises discussing your targets of taking dietary supplements, together with nutritional vitamins and minerals along with your supplier. “If you’re medicating depressive signs with St. John’s Wort and are having success, take into account switching from an OC to a unique type of hormonal contraceptive that doesn’t work together with St. John’s Wort,” she says. “Hormones from an IUD, patch, ring, or implant are absorbed straight into the bloodstream and are unaffected by St. John’s Wort. Alternatively, if St. John’s Wort is ineffective for treating depressive signs, discuss to your supplier about alternate options like prescription anti-depressants and discuss remedy.”
Earlier than taking nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements, what are some pointers somebody ought to consider or discuss with their physician about?
When discussing contraception, Jacobson recommends your supplier learn about all medicines, nutritional vitamins, minerals, herbs, and dietary supplements which you’re taking to allow them to talk about potential drug interactions in addition to scientific proof in assist or refutation of dietary supplements which you’re taking. “Keep in mind, extra just isn’t higher. Extra vitamins offered by dietary dietary supplements might help meet really helpful nutrient targets however may also doubtlessly result in extra intakes and have an effect on your kidney and liver operate. Attempt to obtain your targets via dietary modifications first.”
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