Birth Control Pills and Infections: Cause or Cure?

Some women get vaginal infections over and over. and the Should you blame your birth control pill for all your vaginal infections? Should you stop your pill if you get many vaginal infections? Should you change your pill if you get vaginal infections? All such good questions! When we say women are getting vaginal infections on the pill usually it is either a chronic yeast infection or chronic BV infection. We no sooner get one cleared, they have another. It has been tempting to blame many factors for the recurrence of any infection. The vagina is a very complicated place, in fact containing 1,000,000,000 bacterial colony forming units per gram of secretions. So keeping the healthy mix of just bacteria, let alone the fungal and other organisms healthy is tricky business! When it comes to infections we first to establish whether this is a new infection or truly the same organism that is not treated from your last gyno visit. Then it's whether the treatment was effective to begin with, and finally, should we look into health factors or medication factors that cause the problem. With birth control pills, there has been a lot of conflicting data, some studies say yeast infections are caused by birth control pills, others have no link, and others say fewer infections. We also think that being on the birth control pills actually decrease episodes of bacterial vaginosis. Most studies have, unfortunately, shown that Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infections are increased  when you are on the pill. Most studies show that even though CT infections are increased there is really no increase in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), other studies say that the pill causes PID to be less severe. Most studies do show the pill users are more likely to get HIV infections verse non-pill users. So for women getting chronic infections: if you are on the pill, be sure to see your gyno to be accurately diagnosed. If you have been on the pill and no other factors cause the chronic yeast infections think about switching pills. If switching doesn't work and you want to try off the pill to see if your number of vaginal infections goes down, discuss with your gyno first so that you can have a good plan for contraception.


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