Probiotics are healthy bacteria that claim to have multiple health benefits. In recent years, probiotics have gained popularity among women for their specific roles relating to vaginal, hormonal, and urogenital problems.
As more and more women are eager to pursue probiotics, they come up with the same common question: Do probiotics affect birth control?
According to the CDC, 64.9% of women aged 15–49 in the United States are using contraception, of which birth control pills are one of the most used methods.
So, what is the answer to that question?
How do Birth Control Pills Work?
Birth control pills contain either a combination of the hormones estrogen and progesterone or progesterone alone.
The birth control pills work by preventing sperm from joining with an egg (called fertilization). They stop ovulation ( release of an egg from the ovary) and thicken the mucus in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to travel through and fertilize an egg.
Do Probiotics Affect Birth Control Pills?
Probiotics do not affect birth control pills in any way.
Hormonal contraceptives and probiotics perform entirely different actions within the human body. Probiotics are safe to take with the birth control pill. Your birth control will work just as well as it usually does.
💊 Now that you know probiotics do not affect birth control, let’s take the question the other way round: “Do probiotics benefit women on the pills?” Before delving into this matter, “the connection between birth control pills and gut health” needs to be uncovered first.💊
Does the birth control pill affect the gut microbiome?
Our gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of bacteria, harmoniously coexisting to help govern nearly every function of our body. A healthy functioning microbiome requires a delicate balance of beneficial bacteria.
Recent human studies have found that hormonal contraceptives can cause changes in composition and diversity in the gut microbiota of healthy women.
This alteration in microbiota composition (dysbiosis) can lead to
- Digestive issues
When you have dysbiosis, you are likely to experience indigestion, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Although they are not direct side effects of birth control pills, they could be signs that your daily pill is making your gut microbes go haywire.
- Gut inflammation and leaky gut
Dysbiosis can also result in inflammation of the gut lining and increased intestinal permeability, which is known as leaky gut. When your gut begins leaking, invaders like harmful microbes may squeeze between the cracks, triggering inflammatory immune responses.
A meta-analysis of 20 clinical trials suggests that the pill may play some kind of role in the development of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis in genetically susceptible persons.
- Yeast overgrowth (candida)
Imbalance in your gut bugs can also lead to yeast (candida) overgrowth. Clinical trials have shown increases in vaginal, and oral yeast infections among women on the pill.
So, do probiotics benefit women on the pills?
It is an astounding yes.
Probiotics are an incredible way to boost the health of your microbiome. Introducing healthy bacteria through probiotics while on the birth control pill will be helpful for digestive issues, leaky gut, and recurrent yeast infections.
In addition, eating a gut-friendly diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins and fats, reducing your sugar intake, and limiting alcohol is another great way to help support your gut.
Final consideration: Talk with your doctor
If you are taking a probiotic and also using birth control, you can be reassured that they don’t interact in any way. Probiotics are a great strategy to help support your gut while on the pill.
Nonetheless, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider to be 100% sure. The reason is that probiotic supplements can contain extra ingredients that can interact with your birth control.