Can Tea Affect Birth Control? What's The Full Story?

August 5, 2022

No, true teas don’t affect your birth control. However, some herbal teas and diet teas may negatively impact it.

For a while, there was a rumor going around that tea could prevent your birth control from working. Therefore, I had plenty of clients asking me can tea affect birth control. I did a considerable amount of research to find the answer.

In this post, I will show why true teas are safe, but some other teas may not be. I will also describe the surprising impact of birth control on tea!

girl relaxing and having a cup of tea

Does Tea Affect Birth Control Pills?

Here’s the good news – tea doesn’t have any impact on your birth control pills at all! Therefore, you can continue to drink any kind of true tea without having to be concerned.

This is also true for other forms of hormonal and non-hormonal types of birth control as well.

If this is the case, then where did this idea of tea and birth control come from? Well, this would have to do with detox “teas”…

Detox/Diet Teas and Birth Control

The reason that all this fuss about teas preventing birth control from working wasn’t due to true teas. Rather, it was the fact that women who were on the pill and taking detox or diet teas were becoming pregnant.

This was due to the laxative effect caused by this teas. If consumed within four hours of taking birth control, this teas had a tendency to flush the hormones out of the women’s system. This left them at risk of getting pregnant if they weren’t using a secondary form of birth control.

Teas with Laxative Effects

While true teas are safe, the same can’t be said for all herbal teas. There are many herbal teas that contain ingredients such as senna and cascara. These can have a laxative effect – it may have a greater impact on some than others.

If this is the case, then you end up with the same issue as the detox or diet teas. You may inadvertently be getting rid of the hormones in your body that prevent you from getting pregnant.

In general, though, always pay attention to the ingredients of any herbal teas that you may be drinking. It is always a good idea to do some research ahead of time and to appreciate just what kind of impact this drink can have on any forms of contraception.

It is also a good idea to speak to your doctor to determine if introducing a particular type of herbal tea may cause your birth control to function less effectively.  

afternoon tea

The Impact of Birth Control on Tea

Now, what isn’t common knowledge is how birth control can impact your tea consumption! Most people don’t realize that hormonal contraception can decrease how your body breaks down caffeine.

As a result, you may experience more side effects associated with too much caffeine. This includes jitteriness, increased heartbeat, anxiety, headaches, and more. Therefore, it is a good idea to watch how you feel once you start your birth control.

If you do notice any adverse issues, then you may want to think about cutting down on your tea intake. Conversely, you may want to change the time that you take your birth control. For instance, taking the pill several hours before or after you drink tea may do the trick.

Or, you can also speak with your doctor and switch to another type or form of contraceptive.

Fortunately, tea doesn’t affect birth control, but you should be careful with detox teas and some herbal teas. You should also be aware that birth control can cause certain side effects associated with excess caffeine consumption.

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About the Author
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
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