This should not be taken lightly: some of your bad habits may be direct contraindications for certain methods of contraception, many, for example, simply reduce the effectiveness of contraceptives. But others reduce the health risks that you create with bad habits.
Here is a list of the most common “sins” to consider when choosing a contraceptive.
There is no evidence that alcohol can reduce the contraceptive effect of hormonal drugs. However, in the case of alcohol abuse, the likelihood increases that you will forget to take the pill on time. In addition, the load on the liver increases sharply. Therefore, it makes sense to select contraceptives with a long period of action (for example, intrauterine systems) or use barrier methods (condom).
With smoking, the situation is different: if a woman is over 35 years old and smokes more than 15 cigarettes a day, then combined hormonal contraceptives cannot be used. The fact is that the estrogen contained in them significantly increases the risk of thrombosis and cardiovascular diseases, which are already high in smokers.
You can use a birth control implant with a progestogen. Valid for three years, injected under the skin of the shoulder. Provides effective protection.
You can choose pills containing only one hormone, an analogue of human progesterone (but we must remember that they must be taken daily at the same time, otherwise pregnancy is possible).
An intrauterine system (IUD) is suitable, also with one hormone, which will reliably protect against unwanted pregnancy for five years.
Frequent and indiscriminate change of sexual partners in itself does not affect the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives: you still need one pill a day or one intrauterine system for five years. However, with such habits, one should take into account the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, against which non-barrier methods, alas, do not protect. In this case, the so-called “double Dutch method” is recommended – oral contraceptive + condom.
With the so-called workaholism, it is possible to skip contraceptive pills due to forgetfulness, due to excessive concentration of attention on another problem, due to overwork. Often, pills are forgotten to be taken on business trips. In such cases, long-term methods of contraception are recommended. This is an implant that is inserted under the skin of the shoulder for three years, or a hormonal intrauterine system that contains a sufficiently low dose of a hormone that acts mainly at the level of the uterus, and which can be forgotten for five years.
Stress is, of course, not a habit, but its consequences. Hyper-responsibility, anxiety, inability to plan, lack of sleep can drive you into a state of chronic stress. At the same time, an increase in blood pressure and the occurrence of other cardiovascular diseases are possible (therefore, smoking is strictly contraindicated), and this must be taken into account when choosing contraception and be sure to inform the doctor about this!
With high anxiety, if you prefer hormonal pills, COCs, which contain 28 pills per pack, are more suitable – so that the reception is daily, without interruption. Preference should be given to regimens 24 + 4 (24 active tablets and 4 placebos) or 26 + 2 (26 active tablets and 2 placebos). In this case, the level of estrogen in the body is more stable, PMS practically does not appear, which is very important with an increased level of stress.
I would also recommend contraceptives with folates, which, among other things, have a positive effect on the state of the nervous system. However, if blood pressure at least sometimes rises more than 140/90 mm Hg. Art. or there are other symptoms of cardiovascular disease, it is better to consider long-term progestogen-only methods of contraception (eg, IUDs).