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Can I Drink Alcohol While on Birth Control?

It can be a late-night drink and a sofa snuggle or a romantic dinner with liquor. Alcohol and sex always end up together, whether intentional or not. Thankfully, if you drink alcohol while on birth control, it doesn’t spell doom.

However, this is a different case if your birth control method is memory or behaviour based. You may be swallowing a pill or using a condom at a time. You will need to be cautious when taking alcohol in this case.

Most people in the United States drink alcohol at least once in their lives. According to recent research, over 60% of all U.S. adults report consuming alcohol. Therefore, a lot of women worry about the effects of alcohol on birth control.

We have established that alcohol has no significant impact on the efficacy of birth control. However, alcohol intake can increase the birth control failure rate, but why and how? This article will address how alcohol affects birth control.

Types of Birth controls

Birth controls are great for preventing unwanted pregnancies. However, they aren’t all 100% perfect. They work effectively but vary in usage. Below is a list of popular birth control methods.

As far as safety goes, you can drink alcohol while on birth control, provided you use this kind of contraceptive correctly:

  • Implants 
  • Vaginal rings
  • Shots of Depo-Provera
  • Birth control pills
  • IUDs
  • Patches
  • Emergency pills (“morning after”) 
  • Condoms 

We will go into detail on each preventive method and its efficiency. This information will prove useful in deciding how alcohol affects birth control.

Related article: How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Take?

The Birth Control Implant

The Birth Control Implant

It is a small thin pipe about the same size as a matchstick. The implant is inserted in the arm by a doctor or nurse. It can reside there for up to 3 years. It’s more than 99 percent reliable in its execution. It is great for women who don’t want to think about taking birth control regularly. For those that drink alcohol while on birth control and often forget, this method suits them.

Vaginal Rings

With regular use, the vaginal ring is 91% successful. It’s a little plastic ring that is inside the vagina. It needs to be cleaned once a month, which you can do at home. It is 99 percent effective when done the right way and changed on time.

Shots of Depo-Provera

The Depo-Provera shot, known by the popular brand name, needs to take place every 3 months. It has normal usage effectiveness of 94 percent. It is secure and easy but has to be used to be fully successful on time. If administered on time, 99% is successful.

Birth Control Pills

It is a popular method among people who drink alcohol while on birth control. With regular use, it is approximately 91% successful. It is 99 percent effective with perfect application. The pill is taken daily and can drastically reduce the risks of drinking alcohol while on birth control.



Intrauterine devices are lightweight compact plastic instruments that a doctor or nurse positions in the uterus. It is a long-term form of birth control which, depending on the IUD. They can prevent pregnancy for 3-12 years. They are more than 99% successful.


The patch is also 91% efficient for normal use and 99% for optimal use. It slowly causes hormonal fluctuations that prevent pregnancy. It has to be substituted every 3 weeks.

Emergency Pills

They are also known as morning-after pills. They are commonly used to correct uncertainty among people that drink alcohol while on birth control. You take them after sexual intercourse has occurred. It helps to flush away the potential sperm cells and eggs.

Emergency Pills


They are the only method of defending against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. However, they can be a drastic effect of alcohol on birth control if you forget to wear them. Male condoms are 98 percent effective for the prevention of conception with perfect use.

Effects of Alcohol On Birth Control

Alcohol does not explicitly affect how birth control functions. Yet alcohol can interact in various ways with birth control. Alcohol use can greatly influence the efficacy of birth control in women.

The main issue with alcohol combination is the effect alcohol has on your actions and judgment. This is particularly relevant for people who regularly drink alcohol while on birth control. You will need to be more cautious.

In most situations, light drinks will not mess with the decision to use birth control. However, people must pay particular attention to how they use birth control. Even medium drinking can raise rates of failure on how alcohol affects birth control.

Examples are forgetting to take a pill or adjusting a vaginal ring. A hangover makes you more likely that you forget your pill or patches while you are intoxicated. This could lead to an unwanted pregnancy.

Alcohol increases the risk of sexually transmitted (STI) illness due to incorrect use of condoms. Women may forget to use the right contraceptive usage due to drowsiness under the influence of alcohol.

There is also the risk of vomiting immediately after taking the pill. This will hinder the medicine’s absorption and reduce its efficacy. Vomiting within 2 hours of taking the pill can lead to expulsion of the pill from your system.

Furthermore, alcohol may not affect your birth control if you correctly administer it. However, missed doses or delayed replacement of the device increases your chances of becoming pregnant.

And if you start drinking once you get pregnant, your unborn child could be in danger. Most women are not aware of their pregnancy for 4 to 6 weeks. They may be intoxicated during this period, which unwittingly hurts the developing fetus.

Additionally, when you drink alcohol while on birth control, the alcohol stays longer in you. This is because; the body can’t effectively metabolize both birth control and alcohol together.

This leads to alcohol staying longer in your system and making you feel drunk for longer. This will affect your cognitive functions and may lead to errors in birth control usage.

Also, alcohol can affect the efficacy of birth control by reducing the inhibitions of an individual. Drinking will cause someone to do something they wouldn’t normally do while they are sober. Thereby, this increases the risks of drinking alcohol while on birth control.

Someone who drinks excessively may be careless with a sex partner and forget to use a condom. They might be so confused that they don’t recognize that they have unprotected intercourse.

How To Manage Birth Control Risk When Drunk

Manage Birth Control Risk When Drunk

Ovulation may occur if one dosage of birth control is skipped or missed. If you skip a pill, ensure you use a different form of birth control for a while. You can also try alcohol addiction treatment to slowly wean yourself off the habit.

Birth control drugs are particularly successful in avoiding accidental conception when administered properly and regularly. Fortunately, women’s access to reliable contraceptives from creative health companies is getting simpler and more convenient. Do drink responsibly and use a back-up condom if you intend to drink while using birth control.

How To Ensure Birth Control Effectiveness While Intoxicated

In case you decide to go out to drink alcohol while on birth control, you can plan. Even, if it’s a random moment of drinks with friends. You can quickly set an alarm or discuss a backup plan with your partner.

  • Use reminder apps to track your pill inventory
  • Take the pill early in the morning rather than the evening when circumstances are unexpected.
  • Bring emergency protection including spermicides and condoms.
  • Pick a less demanding contraceptive option like IUD or implant where

FAQs About Drinking Alcohol While on Birth Control

Q: Are there any pills I can take after a drunken night where I am unsure of my use of birth control?

A: Yes, you can take emergency pills to flush out your system.

Q: What are the hormones in birth control?

A: Estrogen and Progesterone.

Q: Why do I need to wear condoms if I take the birth control pill, patch or ring?

A: We urge and advise you to use condoms to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.


Women have several different birth control methods available, which are extremely successful if properly used. There are several options on how to drink alcohol while on birth control. The right decision can be made easy with the aid of a knowledgeable physician.

Alcohol usually has no significant effect on the effectiveness of birth control. The only question is how alcohol impacts your subconscious and the willingness to use your contraceptives. You may like the occasional alcoholic drink but are concerned about missed doses. You can therefore explore multiple options with your doctor.

Additionally, you may want to give up alcohol consumption as a whole. Fortunately, we got you covered on this. We offer a strong alcohol addiction treatment program. Here at 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we will provide you with the right steps to lead you to sobriety. Contact us today to start your giant leap to an alcohol-free world.

Related article: Why You Should Not Attempt Alcohol Withdrawal At Home

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