March 6, 2020


Tobacco and Birth Control Pills: What are the Risks?

If you're a woman, try to remember the first time you went to a gynecologist. The gynecologist probably asked you many questions: when was the last time you had sex? Do you have any medications to take daily? … Do you smoke? Are you informed on the risks of combined tobacco and birth control pills?

a condom on a cactus

You probably know that tobacco and pills don't go well together but figuring out the difference between myth and reality is not always easy in the era of Internet and Fake News. To help you understand the topic and provide you with some answers, Kwit gives you further information in this article on the risks of using birth control pills while smoking.

1- Birth control pills and tobacco: Is it safe?

The combination of tobacco and contraceptive pills does not cause sterility problems, as many may believe, but it does cause cardiovascular problems.

Smoking weakens blood vessels and can lead to clogged arteries. In addition, estrogen, a substance contained in most pills and other hormonal contraceptives, can thicken the blood.

The combination of these two effects can lead to cardiovascular complications.

Smoking also affects fertility and causes women to reach menopause two years earlier than the average. For example, a 30-year-old female smoker has a fertility level comparable to a 40-year-old woman.

2- Unknown or ignored connections?

Studies show that eight out of ten women taking the pill continue to smoke, even after their doctor has warned them of the risks and side effects of smoking when using oral contraceptives.

Studies show that in some cases women are not even aware that smoking is a problem when using hormonal contraceptives. Up to half of the women who are prescribed birth control pills do not tell their doctors about their smoking habits. The majority of women in the survey didn't even know that there were safe contraceptive alternatives for smokers.

What are the alternatives?

There are other safe options available to avoid such risks. You can take progestin pills, put in an implant (which also contains progestin) or an IUD (which does not contain hormones) or use a condom.

However, we strongly advise against smoking while wearing the patch or a vaginal ring, both of which contain oestrogen.

The best advice we can give you is to avoid any risk by quitting smoking.

Kwit's advice

It's important to discuss your medical and smoking history with your doctor when deciding which contraceptive method is right for you. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor for advice if you want to quit smoking.

Remember: quitting smoking not only improves your health and that of your loved ones, it also makes it safer to use contraception. Although newer pills are low in oestrogen and safer for smokers compared to the previous generations of contraceptive pill, they are not entirely risk-free.

different contraception methods including pill
trapped hands in handcuffs

Related article

I smoke, what are the consequences for my child?

You are a parent, you smoke and you want to know the consequences smoking has on your children? Kwit answers all your questions in this article.

Baby in pajamas on bed

Related article

Guidelines for a smoke-free pregnancy

How do I stop smoking when I'm pregnant? Here is THE guide to a smoke-free pregnancy, which will allow you to take care of your child with complete peace of mind!

If you need support, do not hesitate to join our support group !

For more advice follow us on social networks: Facebook and Twitter.



Is there a miracle cure to stop smoking?

Read more
Avatars protesting for the planet


7 reasons to quit smoking to protect the environment!

Read more
Kwit Ambassadors with a smiling bubble


How to become a Kwit Ambassador?

Read more
a toddler who stands upright


Smoking and air pollution: what are the risks?

Read more