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Can You Vape on Birth Control? (Risks You Need to Know)

Can You Vape on Birth Control (Risks You Need to Know)

It is now universally recognized that smoking is bad for health, and it is also known that smoking while using certain birth control methods may also increase the risk of suffering from health complications.

But what about when it comes to vaping? This is an area that hasn’t received as much scientific attention, but to help you understand what we know, in this article we give you all the information you need to answer the question, can you vape on birth control?

Smoking and birth control

Since vaping is relatively new, very little scientific research has been carried out on its effects when combined with birth control.

However, more work has been done on how smoking tobacco may interact with birth control, so let’s start by talking about this since it may allow us to draw some parallels with vaping while using birth control.

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Is nicotine harmful?

Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products is now accepted as being incredibly bad for your health.

Tobacco is known to be a major cause of cancer and may also lead to a range of other serious or fatal health conditions related to the cardiovascular system.

However, while nicotine in cigarettes has been identified as the addictive component in tobacco – and is considered only slightly less addictive than opioids – nicotine is not the main harmful compound in tobacco.

Rather, the harm from tobacco smoke comes from a wide range of over 5,000 other harmful chemical compounds as well as from carbon monoxide that is released through the combustion of tobacco leaves.

(This is one of the main reasons vaping is considered a much safer option than smoking – because it allows the user to ingest nicotine without suffering from all the other harmful effects of consuming tobacco.)

That said, nicotine does produce some potentially harmful physiological effects.

For example, nicotine can cause an increase in blood pressure and an increased heart rate, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke.

So while nicotine alone is far from being the most harmful element of smoking, it is still a powerfully addictive drug that is associated with certain concomitant risks.

How nicotine in cigarettes affects birth control

The important thing to understand when considering birth control and smoking or vaping is how the two combine to produce physiological effects in the body, so let’s look at this now.

If you use hormonal birth control methods, including pills, patches and rings, these methods may also cause similar effects to nicotine in your body such as increased heart rate or increased blood pressure.

This is due to the estrogen in these birth control methods, which is an effective method of preventing unwanted pregnancies but can also produce some of these side effects.

In younger women or in those who don’t smoke, the benefits of these convenient and reliable methods of birth control are considered to far outweigh the drawbacks.

However, when combined with nicotine, the effects are multiplied, making them less safe and a less acceptable risk.

Furthermore, estrogen can also cause changes in the blood that, when combined with nicotine, can increase the risk of blood clots.

As a result, the consensus within the medical community is that hormonal birth control is not recommended for women over 35 years old who smoke – and may also not be recommended for smokers younger than this with conditions such as hypertension or diabetes.

This means if you are a smoker and you fall into one of these categories, you are advised to speak to your doctor for advice concerning other safer and more suitable forms of birth control.

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What about other types of birth control?

So far, we’ve been looking at the effects smoking has on women who use hormonal birth control based on estrogen – but what about other methods?

One of the most common forms of birth control is the combined pill, which contains estrogen and progestin.

However, pills also exist that only contain progestin, and while these are perhaps slightly less reliable than the combined pill, they don’t produce the same side effects as the combined pill so may be preferable to using the combined pill for smokers.

Another possibility is the copper IUD, which, since it doesn’t rely on estrogen, is considered a safer contraception method for those who smoke.

Finally, barrier methods, which include condoms, spermicide, sponges, diaphragms and cervical caps are all considered safe methods of contraception for smokers.

The downside is that these methods can be less reliable than hormonal methods of contraception, but when weighed against the possible negative effects on health hormonal methods may have on smokers, these methods may still be preferable.

When choosing the best method of contraception for you, the best advice is always to speak to a health professional before making the final decision.

So what about vaping on Birth Control?

As we’ve already mentioned, little scientific work has been carried out on the effects of vaping on birth control since vaping has only been around for a relatively short time – and it has only become popular over the last few years or so.

As a result, it’s impossible to give science-based advice on how vaping and birth control methods might interact.

However, since cigarettes and many vapes contain nicotine and because nicotine is the main issue when used in conjunction with certain birth control methods, it’s possible to draw some logical conclusions and offer some guidelines that it makes sense to follow.

In short, then, if you use vapes that contain nicotine, the same advice for tobacco users also applies – whether you use a mod device, a vape pod or a high-end disposable such as the Jack’s Flask 9000 puffs from Spiritbar.

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If you vape, you won’t suffer from the broad range of harmful effects associated with the inhalation of combustible tobacco due to the harmful compounds it contains.

However, you will be at risk from the negative effects of nicotine – and if you combine this with estrogen-based contraceptive methods, the risks are likely to be multiplied in the same way as if you ingest nicotine through smoking.

This means if you are a vaper – and especially if you are over 35 or suffer from any of the complications that may put you at higher risk such as diabetes or hypertension – you should consider other contraceptive methods such as an IUD or a barrier method.

And again, if you are unsure which method is the safest and most appropriate, you should book an appointment with a healthcare professional to receive the best advice.

However, it’s also worth pointing out that if you use nicotine-free vapes, none of the factors associated with consuming nicotine in conjunction with birth control apply, so the risks are likely to be minimal.

How long do you need to wait after quitting smoking or vaping?

If you are a smoker who wants to quit, you will start to experience the benefits almost immediately after your last cigarette or vape.

After just 20 minutes, your heart rate will drop, after 12 hours, the amount of carbon monoxide in your blood will return to normal, and over the next few weeks and months, your risk of heart attack will begin to drop and your lung function will also begin to improve.

So the first takeaway here is that it’s never too late to quit.

In terms of birth control, though, if you plan to quit smoking or stop vaping, the negative effects will quickly start to recede, so you can consider starting to use hormonal birth control almost immediately – or after just a few weeks or so, just to be safe.

However, there is one important caveat that needs to be attached to this – because giving up smoking or vaping is easier said than done.

If you are only an occasional smoker or vaper and are sure that you can just stop – or you believe that you have the willpower to simply go “cold turkey” – you can start using estrogen-based contraceptive methods soon after your last cigarette or vape.

However, if you have tried and failed to quit before, you could be putting yourself at increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular complications if you start using estrogen-based contraception but then relapse into smoking or vaping.

If you are worried about such a relapse, it might be better to wait for a little longer after your last smoke or vape to ensure a relapse is less likely – and in any case, it’s always best to speak to your medical practitioner for advice and support with such decisions.

What about CBD or THC vape on Birth Control?

When it comes to CBD or THC vapes, even less work has been done on how this might interact with birth control, so we can only draw vague conclusions.

Smoking marijuana can cause increased blood pressure, so it seems logical to assume that this has the potential to interact with estrogen birth control in the same way as nicotine – although it must be stressed that there is no science to back this up.

This means if you vape CBD or especially THC products, there may also be an associated rise in heart rate and blood pressure, so it may expose you to similar risks.

However, since there is no science to prove or disprove this, for the moment, it is up to each individual to weigh the risks and then make a decision for themselves.

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Little scientific information available but probably inadvisable

As we’ve seen, there is little scientific information available concerning the safety of vaping while using birth control.

However, since the effects of nicotine when combined with estrogen-based birth control methods are better known, it makes sense to follow the same advice concerning birth control if you use vaping products that contain nicotine.

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