QQ: Can You Take Antibiotics and Birth Control at the Same Time?

The possibility of a birth control fail is an emotional roller coaster. If you’ve ever had a missed or late period—when you’re not planning on becoming pregnant—then you probably know the feeling. It starts with panic followed by self-doubt and thoughts like, “I’m not ready to take care of a human. I can barely keep my plants alive.” While there are multiple factors that can contribute to the efficacy of birth control—like making sure to take oral contraception exactly as you’re supposed to—a common concern is whether antibiotics make birth control ineffective. To help lessen a freak-out when you’re on antibiotics and taking a prescription contraceptive, we’ve asked a few doctors to explain the affects of antibiotics on birth control.

To jump ahead, Judith Levy, ob-gyn at Montefiore Medical Center says that for most common antibiotics it’s not proven that antibiotics make birth control ineffective. The keyword here is most. She shares that there are a select few that have been proven to make birth control ineffective. “Mainly those for treating tuberculosis (like rifampin),” she tells us, “but in terms of common antibiotics, there’s no evidence to prove that they interfere with birth control.” Want to understand why some antibiotics could cause birth control to be ineffective? Keep scrolling. Ahead three ob-gyns demystify the effect of antibiotics on birth control and share their conclusions.