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Alcohol and Birth Control

Updated: Apr 9, 2023

Drinking alcohol is something that nearly everyone participates in. From social beverages with your friends, family, or coworkers to parties and other special events, drinking alcohol is a part of most people's lives. Alcohol consumption does not usually have an impact on how you use birth control. If you choose the pill as your hormonal method of contraception, there are several extra concerns to consider if you drink alcohol.

We've outlined everything you need to know about drinking while on the pill, from how alcohol affects birth control to certain things you'll need to be aware of before downing a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine while taking the Pill.

Does Alcohol Make Birth Control Less Effective?

There's no evidence that alcohol affects the effectiveness of birth control, so you can drink without jeopardizing your pill's efficacy. Despite this, alcohol may reduce how effectively you utilize the pill and make it less likely to fully protect you from pregnancy. Here's how:

  • It's simple to overlook to take your birth control pill every day when you're intoxicated. It's all too common to forget to take your pill after a night of drinking. If you normally take your pills in the evening, it's also simple to overlook to take them after consuming alcohol.

  • If you forget to take your pill, the chance of getting pregnant rises.

  • If you get drunk and go to bed late, it's all too easy to sleep past your birth control pill regimen in the morning. If you take a progestin-only pill, it's especially crucial not to miss your normal pill taking time because delaying your dose by even three hours may raise your chance of getting pregnant.

  • If you drink a lot of alcohol and vomit after taking your pill, the hormones in the pill may not be completely absorbed by your body.

If you're going out for a night with friends, to a party or any other event at which you anticipate drinking alcohol, it's a good idea to set a reminder on your phone.

If you're concerned about missing a pill, keep a back-up method of contraception on hand. Let your partner know that you'd prefer to use condoms or another barrier form of birth control the night before — this way, if you forget your birth control pill, you'll still be safe.

Alcohol and Safe Sex

Finally, when you've been drinking alcohol, it's easy to overlook the significance of safe sex. While using the birth control pill correctly prevents pregnancy, it does not offer protection against sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs).

It's critical to be safe when you're out with your pals or in any other scenario where you've been drinking and decide to have sex. It's a simple method to keep a condom on hand whenever the opportunity arises.

Tips for Drinking Alcohol While On Birth Control

Alcohol does not need to affect your birth control methods. Use the following strategies to keep yourself safe from pregnancy while you socialize, have a drink with your friends, family, or coworkers:

  • Use a barrier-based form of contraception. When you're tipsy or drunk, it's easy to forget that the birth control pill doesn't protect against STIs. If you believe you'll have sex, carry a condom or two in your handbag as a backup method of birth control and STD protection.

  • Make a habit out of waking up at the same time every day. Set up an alarm on your phone to wake you and take your birth control pill if you're worried you might sleep through your normal morning routine.

  • Drink in moderation. Drinking excessively might result in vomiting, making your birth control pill less effective if you took it right before drinking. Drinking too much can also make you feel hungover the next day, causing you to forget your birth control pill.

  • The easiest method to avoid these difficulties is to limit your alcohol intake. Know your limits and drink responsibly so you don't wake up with a headache the next morning after a night on the town.

  • Explain the problem to your partner. If you're concerned about alcohol affecting your birth control's efficacy, tell them. Explain to them that you'd want to use a condom after drinking in case your birth control pill isn't completely effective. It's critical to use a back-up form of contraception (e.g., as a barrier) for the next two days if you forget to take your progestin-only pill by just three hours.

  • Change your birth control timing to whatever works best for you. If you drink frequently and sleep in as a result, altering the time you take your birth control might help you avoid missing any pills due to hangovers or tiredness.

  • Consider using a different form of birth control. The IUD, Depo-Provera, and implants are all hormonal contraceptives that don't have to be administered every day, indicating they may be a better choice if you drink frequently and forget to take your daily pill.

While we don't suggest drinking to excess every night, a single drink occasionally is unlikely to interfere with your birth control. The techniques above can help you have fun on the town without feeling concerned about using your birth control.


This blog pro­vides infor­ma­tion about telemed­i­cine, health and related sub­jects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be con­strued as a substitute for, med­ical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or per­son with a med­ical con­cern should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of nōni. Read more about the author here.



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