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Should I take an extra birth control pill/is there risk for…

Should I take an extra...
Should I take an extra birth control pill/is there risk for pregnancy? Just needing some additional insight on a matter.My partner and I had sex without a condom. There have been a few rare instances I took my birth control an hour to 3 hours late, missing my usual time. On Friday night I had one episode of diarrhea I guess from a case of bad food and I heard diarrhea could affect the efficacy of the pill. I am on taytulla. I was wondering I could still get pregnant with all these factors? Should I take plan b? The diarrhea occurred within 2.5 hours of taking my pill on Friday night. And I had sex yesterday. As a side note, its not often that I take the pill at different times. It’s only happened at most 3 times in the entirety of taking my birth control in the span of 3 months. I’m just a bit concerned and would rather not consistently run out to get plan b if it’s not necessary.
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
10/9/2017
Dr. J
Dr. J, Board Certified OB/GYN
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Experience: Gynecologist
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As long as you're consistently taking your Taytulla everyday (it's OK if you're occasionally a few hours late), the pills are doing their job at preventing pregnancy. One episode of diarrhea will not affect your pills ability to prevent pregnancy. Please note that even with perfect use, the birth control pill will still have a failure rate of about 1%. You do not need to take Plan B.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you! I have had diarrhea a few times over the course of taking the pill for the past few months. Does this affect the effectiveness of the pill?
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Overall?
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
The birth control taytulla says If the patient vomits or has diarrhea (within 3 to 4 hours after she takes a pink capsule), she should follow the instructions in the “What to Do if You Miss Capsules” section [see FDA-approved patient labeling ].

An occasional bout of diarrhea will not affect the efficacy of the pill, so I think you're OK. As long as the pill hangs out in your bowel for at least 30 minutes, enough of it will get absorbed for the medicine to be effective. Might I suggest though, if the pill is causing some bowel irritation, have you considered another method of contraception, such as an IUD (they work just by being present in the uterus and there are a couple of different types of IUDs to choose from)? They are a popular choice for many of my patients due to their convenience and high effectiveness. Just something to consider, but if you're happy with the pills, I don't see any reason why you can't continue them.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I’ve considered it but I heard it can be a bit uncomfortable. The pills don’t bother me so much I just get really worried it won’t be so effective in Protecting against pregnancy because of instances in which women have gotten pregnant on the pill. I am just very anxious about that but we just happened to not use a condom in the heat of the moment because I thought I’d be fine

Based on what you're telling me, you have near-perfect pill use and that is 99% effective at protecting you from pregnancy. The IUD's a little uncomfortable going in but most women forget all about it within a few days to weeks.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
That makes sense. Is it very common for women to get pregnant on birth control pills? Lots of crazy experiences on the internet honestly lol so I can’t tell

I see "pill failures" from time to time but it's hard to know how compliant most people are with taking their pills every day. I have seen a pill failure before in someone I knew to be a very responsible daily pill-taker, so it can happen. Failure rate of about 1% with perfect use and failure rate of about 10% with "typical" use.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I see. But overall you don’t think I have anything to worry about in my case? Do you feel it is safe to continue to have unprotected sex just solely on birth control?

Yes, I do think the pills will be 99% effective for you at preventing pregnancy. If you are consistently taking the pills everyday and overall only having occasional diarrhea, you do not need to use a condom. (That being said, the pills will protect you from pregnancy but only condoms can protect you from STDs so you may choose to use continue to use condoms for that reason.)

Dr. J
Dr. J, Board Certified OB/GYN
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you you have been very helpful! are there specific reasons perfect bc takers can still fall pregnant?

The way a pill works is, it suppresses the ovaries from actually releasing an egg. Therefore no sperm can meet an egg, and no pregnancy can occur. If pregnancy occurred despite perfect pill use, it means that despite use of the pill, the ovary was still able to release an egg.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Right is there a specific reason that might occur to a certain person? I.e other medications or hormone imbalances?

Nope. Just means that 1% of women using pills will get pregnant despite perfect use, unrelated to any other factors.

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There are certain meds that with prolonged daily use will limit the efficacy of the pills but those meds are few and far between, and your prescribing doc would not have recommended pills to you if you used them.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Great. Last question I promise. Would be why the drug insert says to act as though I missed a pill if I had diarrhea 3-4 hours after taking my daily pill. Is that just overly cautious?

Out of an overabundance of caution. I assume they're trying to protect people who have diarrhea because of "malabsorption", which is where you don't absorb nutrients properly in your gut.

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