Medical Q&As

The pill - interact with vitamin C?

What is the interaction between vitamin C and the pill? Would the vitamin C content in an average diet cause any effect?

The vitamin C content in the average diet has no effect on the pill. With regard to the first part of your question there is a lot of theorising and very little hard evidence. It is suggested that high dose vitamin C may actually increase the dose of oestrogen being absorbed, which would have no effect on the contraceptive effect of the pill. However, it is further suggested that if the high dose vitamin C were stopped abruptly the level of oestrogen being absorbed could also drop suddenly, which in turn might give rise to reflex ovulation or egg release. It is also suggested that this theoretical consideration does not apply to the low dose combined pills, which are the most popular pills in common usage. So much for theory so what are the practical implications of all of this. The speculation only applies to high dose vitamin C, which means dosages in excess of one gram per day. Most people donít take that amount of vitamin C in supplement form. The remote vague possibility of reflex ovulation occurring only kicks in when the high dose vitamin C is stopped. In other words taking vitamin C while on the pill has no effect on the contraceptive benefits of the pill. The theoretical possibilities only arise when the vitamin C is stopped. Most importantly, these considerations do not apply to the most popular combined pills in common usage.