According to LiveScience, it’s a myth that antibiotics screw up birth control pills. In the unsourced blurb, someone named “Carroll” states:
“Many physicians even believe this,” Carroll said. Alone, birth control pills fail about one percent of the time. And that failure rate is unchanged when taken with the vast majority of antibiotics, Carroll said.
Apparently, the whole rumor got started because of a marked interaction between birth control and rifampin. This should not ordinarily be a huge concern as birth control goes, though. Rifampin is primarily used in a coctail of antibiotics to combat tuberculosis and leprosy. I suspect most people with either of those conditions aren’t having a lot of sex.
This isn’t one of my areas of interest or expertise but it does have to do with something I am quite interested in — myths involving human sexuality. If any of my readers have any documented evidence for this, I’d certainly appreciate a little help with my homework. I hate spouting facts based on one article on the internet. That’s how rumors get started.
In all fairness, I’ve always heard this, and most of the antibiotics I’ve been prescribed in my life have had a warning about birth control interactions. Doctors aren’t immune from rumors, to be sure, but I’d sure like to get to the bottom of this.