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Questions and Answers

Is Smoking Okay If I’m On the Birth Control Pill?

Hormonal birth control can be great for many people. But, smoking while you’re using options like the pill or the ring can raise your risk for strokes and heart attacks. Doctors often don’t recommend using them together. People who smoke can lower their risk by choosing birth control that doesn’t have estrogen.

You can talk to a doctor or nurse about whether you smoke or you plan to smoke. They can help you find birth control that works for you and keeps your risk low!

Should I smoke if I’m on the pill?

Some birth control, like the ring, the combination pill and the patch have two hormones: progestin and estrogen. Estrogen can increase risk for blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. The nicotine in cigarettes raises people’s blood pressure and heart rate. Together, they can lead to a higher chance for strokes and heart attacks. These kinds of birth control aren’t recommended for smokers.

Some other types of birth control like the minipill and the hormonal IUD have only one hormone: progestin. Doctors and nurses will typically recommend these for people who smoke. People can also use types of birth control without any hormones, like condoms or the copper IUD.

Is it ok to smoke weed if I’m taking the pill?

There isn’t as much research on marijuana and birth control. But, weed also raises people’s blood pressure and heart rate, like nicotine. On its own, it also raises the risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Because of these, if you smoke, eat, or vape weed, it can help to tell a doctor or nurse and ask about birth control options. Weed can also affect your memory, making it harder to take a daily pill.

How does vaping affect birth control?

Vaping is still new, so we don’t have research on how it hormonal birth control. If your vaporizers or e-cigarettes have nicotine, it could have the same risks as smoking cigarettes. Since we don’t know for sure, it might be safer to choose an option without estrogen if you vape nicotine.

Is birth control without estrogen as good?

Absolutely! Methods without estrogen are some of the most effective birth control around.

If it’s taken perfectly, the estrogen-free minipill is 97% effective at preventing pregnancy over a year. This is about the same as the combination pill. But, it’s more important to take the minipill at the same time every day. Because it’s common for people to take it late, it’s less effective for most people.

If you’d have trouble taking the minipill at the same time, or a pill isn’t right for you, there are of other options. Hormonal and copper IUDs are safe and over 99% effective. The shot is progestin-only, but it’s sometimes not recommended with smoking.

It’s a good idea to ask your doctor or nurse about your birth control options. You can also tell them about any smoking. They can help you choose birth control that’s right for you!

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