First, the stats. According to an article on FoxNews.com, more than 12 million U.S. women use an oral contraceptive–better known as “the pill.”
That pill is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Pretty solid, right?
Between two and eight percent of women become pregnant each year while using it. Whaaaat?
Yes, and guess what? It’s not a pharmaceutical error. It’s a user error. Ladies, if you don’t follow the program as prescribed, you run the risk of that pill turning into a seven-pound baby.
Without further fanfare, here are the five things that Dr. Millicent Comrie of the Long Island College Hospital Center for Women’s Health says may cause the pill to become less effective or even–gasp!–fail:
- Not taking the pill at the same time every day. Since 1960, the amount of estrogen in birth control pills has dropped from 50 micrograms to 20 micrograms because of health concerns. With today’s “low dose” pills, it’s more important than ever that you take your pill every day AT THE SAME TIME to maintain a consistent amount of estrogen in your body during the 24-hour period.
- Missing a dose. Just don’t.
- Alcohol. Bet you didn’t want to hear this one. Yes, my friend, that cosmopolitan you enjoy with friends before the movie just may reduce the effectiveness of the pill. It seems that alcohol is metabolized by the liver, and any drug that affects the liver may also affect how the pill is absorbed by your body. If you’re a heavy drinker, you’re really taking a chance.
- Antibiotics/seizure medication. Neurological medications like dilantin and carbamazepine may diminish the pill’s effectiveness. Antibiotics are a problem because the pill is so low dose, though not as much of a concern as they once were.
- Taking a generic form of the pill. Forget about saving money here. Generic pills don’t contain the same amount of medicine as the brand names. With the FDA allowing a 15% variation in generic meds, and with the pills so “low dose” to begin with, even 15% can mean the difference between 2AM partying and 2AM feedings.
Feel free to share this important information with your friends on “the pill.” If you enlighten them, and they still choose to be careless about their pill protocol, may I suggest an adorable baby shower favor and a baby gift for their baby shower? The baby shower favor? A very meaningful, personalized champagne flute that celebrates the new baby and the bubbly spirits that probably brought her here today. And the gift? The “Lucky Ducky” Six-Piece Newborn Gift Basket! Celebrating the new little cutie who has his mom’s less-than-perfect memory to thank for being here.