Binge Drinking Can Increase Pregnancy Risk For Women On Birth Control Pill

03/23/2012 01:15 pm ET

It would seem taking the birth control pill is only part of the equation for avoiding pregnancy in during college years.

The other part, judging from a recent story on Canada's Open File, is for contraceptive users to make sure they don't vomit up the pill, something which -- perhaps understandably -- significantly reduces its effectiveness.

Judging from the college students quoted in the story, it seems the combination of binge drinking, subsequent vomiting and unprotected sex could prove to be a potent baby-producing cocktail.

"I puke all the time and have sex with my boyfriend after," one student said, according to Open File.

"I don't really puke when I'm hungover, but I puke a lot when I'm drunk," another said. "And ever since I started University, I pretty much have sex every weekend when I'm drunk."

One student complained that birth-control makers should mention that vomiting increases the ineffectiveness of the pill, but, as Gawker points out, that warning is indeed listed.

But, here's the thing: that disclaimer is on it. It's not huge (and how huge is huge enough? Bold-faced? 24-pt. bold-faced? 72-pt. bold-faced? Serifs?), but it's there, right in the instruction and warning pamphlet.

The women's health organization Epigee explains that "vomiting within two hours of taking the pill will require you to take a replacement pill."

The organization also notes that "if you took your pill two hours or more before you vomited, then it is unlikely that you will need a replacement pill."


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