What To Do If Youre Pregnant
If you discover that youre pregnant, you should speak with your doctor as soon as possible. If you plan to keep the pregnancy, youll need to start caring for your growing baby. This means going off of the birth control pill and beginning to take a daily prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Youll also have to begin preparing for an upcoming delivery.
If you decide youd like to terminate the pregnancy, you should begin this process as quickly as you can. Depending on where you live, legal restrictions could prevent you from having the procedure after youve reached a certain point in the pregnancy.
Factors That Can Reduce The Effectiveness Of Birth Control
While the pill is designed to prevent you from ovulating, missing a dose of the pill or forgetting to start a new pack are the main reasons why the pill wont work as described, as the pill is intended to maintain a consistent level of hormones circulating in your body at any time.
If you take the combination pill , you dont have to take your pill at the exact same time every day, but taking your dosage around the same time daily helps establish consistency and makes it more of a habitand easier to remember.
It should be noted that if you take the mini pill , you should prioritize taking the pill at the same time every day. A delayed or missed dose can cause your hormone levels to drop quickly, potentially resulting in ovulation, which means theres a chance you could get pregnant if you have sex around that time.
What Are Other Kinds Of Birth Control
When it comes to birth control, IUDs and implants are just some of your choices. Others include:
- Abstinence. This means you abstain from sex. Abstinence is the only birth control thats 100 percent effective. This means it prevents pregnancy all the time.
- Hormonal methods. These methods, like implants, non-copper IUDs, the pill and the patch, contain hormones that prevent you from releasing an egg. Without the egg, you cant get pregnant.
- Barrier methods. Barrier methods, like condoms and diaphragms, work by blocking or killing your partners sperm so it cant reach your egg. Some help protect you from sexually transmitted infections and diseases . STIs, like HIV and syphilis, are infections you get from having unprotected sex with an infected person. Some STIs can cause problems for you and your baby during pregnancy.
- Natural family planning . This is when you track your menstrual cycle to figure out when you ovulate to help you know when you can get pregnant. Your menstrual cycle is the process of your ovaries releasing an egg every month. The egg moves through your fallopian tubes to the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized by sperm, it passes through the vagina along with blood and tissue from the uterus. This is called your period.
Here are some questions to ask when deciding which birth control to use:
Not Just Gas On Vacation
Career woman Natalie Dass was on vacation when she started to feel not quite right. She was gassy and later got dizzy, and although she was on the pill, she opted for a holiday pregnancy test. Not surprisingly, it was positive. But once Natalie saw her doctor, she wrote for Mother and Baby, it was confirmed that she was already 27 weeks along. Shockingly, just weeks prior, she had gone hiking, horseback riding, and even skydiving- the latter two being on the list of no-nos for most pregnant moms. Natalies baby was born easily and came out healthy- and by then, she was adjusted to the idea of welcoming her new bundle.
What Causes The Failure Of Birth Control Pills
- Taking the pills irregularly or at a different time each day
- Vomiting and diarrhea for more than 48 hours
- Some antibiotics, antifungals and anti-seizure medicines
- The herb St. Johns Wort
- The pill may not work for people who are overweight
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What Are The Advantages Of Mini
- Mini-pills work better than barrier methods. Barrier methods include condoms and diaphragms.
- They may cause fewer side effects than combination birth control pills. They may reduce heavy bleeding and cramping.
- They don’t contain estrogen. So you can use them if you don’t want to take estrogen. They are also an option if you can’t take estrogen because you have certain health problems or concerns.
- They are safe to use while breastfeeding.
- You don’t have to interrupt sex to use them.
What Is The Difference Between 21
Theonly difference between the 21- and 28-day birth control pills is that the 28-day includes either seven inactive sugar pills or seven iron pills. If youre taking a 21-day birth control pill, youll take the pill for three weeks, and then skip a week before starting a new pack. For 28-day pills, youll start a new pack immediately after finishing your last one.
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Birth Control Pills Effectiveness Rate
When used perfectly, the birth control pills effectiveness rate is over 99%. However, with typical use, it has a 9% failure rate, as noted in an article by Healthline. That means 9 out of 100 women will get pregnant in a year.
This is why its important to take the pill on time and to maintain a regular schedule. If you have trouble remembering to take it on time, consider apps like Popit.
However, if you still cant stay on track, dont fret. Consider long-term, reversible birth control options instead. The IUD and birth control implant are great options as they require zero effort on your part. You simply have them inserted and thats it, really!
So How Fast Do Birth Control Pills Work
For combination pills, it depends on when you begin your first pack.
If you begin the pill on the first day of your period, theyll work right away to prevent pregnancy. However, if you start it any time after your period, give it 7 days before they start protecting against pregnancy. In that time, be sure to use condoms or a female condom if you have sex.
You can start taking POPs at any time during your menstrual cycle. However, the amount of time for it to take effect isnt quite the same as the combination pill. According to Planned Parenthood, it takes 48 hours for the mini-pill to take effect when you start it. So, if you have sex any time between then, be sure to use a backup method as well!
Its important to keep in mind that the mini-pill has a lower dose of hormones than the combination pill. The hormones are effective for only around 24 hours which is why its important to take it at the same time every day. So, if youre late in taking it or miss a pill, be sure to use back up contraception during those 48 hours again.
So, to sum up the answer to how fast do birth control pills work?, check out the chart below:
|Any time during menstrual cycle
|48 hours to become effective and protect against pregnancy
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What Are The Types Of Birth Control Pills
There are two different types of birth control pills. Both types contain hormones that prevent pregnancy.
- Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin.
- Progestin-only pills are also called the minipill. Theyre better for some women, such as those who are breastfeeding or have a history of blood clots and strokes and shouldnt take estrogen.
The pill comes in different dosing packets from 21-day pill packs to 90-day pill packs, to even 365 days of active pills. Traditionally, depending on the brand and dose, you take at least three weeks of active pills followed by two to seven days of hormone-free pills. This is called cyclical dosing. Most women have a menstrual period during the inactive pills. Some brands do not provide any inactive pills at all in the pack . With the 21-day packs a woman does not take any pills for a week. During this time, youll have your period, similar to what happens when taking the inactive, hormone-free pills.
Some formulations offer continuous dosing, which means you do not have any inactive pills, and a woman takes an active pill daily. Alternatively, extended cycle dosing is when inactive pills or breaks in the active pill regimen only occur three to four times per year. Skipping the inactive pills prevents menstruation. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best option for you.
What Are The Side Effects Of Emergency Contraception
The most common side effects of ECPs are nausea and vomiting. A pill to lessen the symptoms is given with the ECPs. If you throw up within an hour of taking the first dose of ECPs, you need to repeat it. Some women will have sore breasts for a few days, and others have complained about headaches. These problems are much less common.
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Forgotten Surgery Switches Up Plans
When mom Maat had her first child, she had severe preeclampsia. For her own health and safety, she decided that one baby was enough. Plus, she was already past 35 and worried that her advanced age wouldnt help things. So she decided to have a tubal litigation after her son was delivered. Four months after the baby was born, Maat found out she was pregnant. It turned out, Maats obstetrician forgot to perform the tubal, she told Womens Health Mag, meaning the birth control the couple thought they had, hadnt existed at all. Fortunately, Maat and her husband were thrilled to have a daughter in addition to their intended-only-child son.
What Are Emergency Contraceptive Pills
Emergency contraceptive pills are high dose birth control pills. They arent 100% effective, but they do reduce the chance of getting pregnant by 75%. For example, if 100 women have unprotected intercourse once in the second or third week of their cycle , eight would get pregnant if they didnt use emergency contraception but only two would become pregnant if they took emergency contraception.
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Whats The Short Answer
Although birth control can be an effective way to prevent unintended pregnancy, no method is 100 percent successful. Each type has pros and cons, including how effective it is.
Hormonal intrauterine devices and hormonal implants are the most effective forms of reversible birth control. Once inserted, the hormonal implant and hormonal IUD are more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.
Other forms of birth control can be equally effective if used perfectly which means correctly, consistently, and on time, every time.
Human nature, on the other hand, often means that this wont always happen. For instance, a condom may be forgotten, a birth control pack started late, and a birth control shot skipped. So-called typical use ultimately makes the actual success rate of each method much lower.
Read on to learn more about each type of birth control, including the effectiveness and what you can do to make it more efficient.
We Don’t Know Whether Most Antibiotics Make Birth Control Less Effective
There are two antibiotics that researchers have found make birth control pills less effective: griseofulvin, an antifungal used to treat athlete’s foot and ringworm, and rifampicin, which is typically used to treat tuberculosis.
The reason that happens is that these drugs speed up the liver’s metabolism, which makes the liver metabolize the hormones in the birth control faster. As a result, hormones leave the blood stream faster and are unable to adequately affect the ovaries to prevent ovulation or the cervix to prevent thickening of the cervical mucus.
Lots of antibiotics, not just the two listed above, come with warnings that they’ll make birth control ineffective and suggest using a backup method of contraception. While a backup method is never a bad idea, there’s actually sparse evidence that these other drugs make birth control less effective. “Uncertainty persists with respect to the other broad-spectrum antibiotics,” researchers in the journal Contraceptionwrote in a review article about interactions between birth control and antibiotics. They argue that in light of that uncertainty, it is completely appropriate for women to use a backup method but not to ditch their antibiotics out of concern over interactions.
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Does Birth Control Raise My Risk For Health Problems
It can, depending on your health and the type of birth control you use. Talk to your doctor to find the birth control method that is right for you.
Different forms of birth control have different health risks and side effects. Some birth control methods that increase your risk for health problems include:
- Hormonal birth control. Combination birth control pills and some other forms of hormonal birth control, such as the vaginal ring or skin patch, may raise your risk for blood clots and high blood pressure. Blood clots and high blood pressure can cause a heart attack or stroke. A blood clot in the legs can also go to your lungs, causing serious damage or even death. These are serious side effects of hormonal birth control, but they are rare.
- Spermicides . Spermicides that have nonoxynol-9 can irritate the vagina. This can raise your risk for getting HIV. Use spermicides with nonoxynol-9 only if you are in a monogamous relationship with a man you know is HIV-negative. Also, medicines for vaginal yeast infections may make spermicides less effective.
- Intrauterine devices . IUDs can slightly raise your risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies happen when a fertilized egg implants somewhere outside of the uterus , usually in one of the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy is a serious medical problem that should be treated as soon as possible. IUDs also have a very rare but serious risk of infection or puncture of the uterus.
Contraception Is Not Just About Preventing Pregnancy
Before jumping into efficacy, when we talk to patients about contraceptives, we first narrow down what they want out of it, she says. In women, birth control can also help lighten heavy periods, regulate menstrual cycles, and clear up acne, according to the Office on Womens Health.
Thats not to say that birth control should only be a concern for women. According to Meera Shah, MD, MPH, birth control is every partners responsibility.
Everyone should be counseled on all methods of contraception, she says, from birth control pills to vasectomies, regardless of their gender.
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What Are Iuds And Implants
IUDs and implants are birth control that a provider places in your body. They help prevent pregnancy for a long time, up to several years. Once you get an IUD or implant, you dont have to remember to do anything to help it work. Once its in, youre all set. And when youre ready to get pregnant, your provider removes it and youre good to go!
An IUD is a small, plastic T-shaped device that your provider puts in your uterus. Hormonal IUDs release progestin into the uterus. Progestin is a man-made form of the hormone progesterone. Hormonal IUDs can prevent pregnancy for 3 to 5 years, depending on what brand you get. Hormonal IUDs help prevent fertilization, when a man’s sperm gets inside a woman’s egg to make her pregnant.
Hormonal IUDs mainly work by:
- Thickening the mucus in your cervix so its hard for sperm to enter your uterus and fertilize an egg to make you pregnant. The cervix is the opening to the uterus that sits at the top of the vagina.
- Thinning the lining of your uterus so a fertilized egg has trouble attaching to it.
Hormonal IUDs also may stop ovulation in some women. Ovulation is when your ovaries release an egg each month.
For some women, IUDs can cause side effects, like spotting between periods, cramps and back aches. But for others, its just the oppositean IUD reduces cramps and may make your period lighter or make it stop completely. You can breastfeed with an IUD.
What Are Combination Pills
Combination pills are used to prevent pregnancy. Most people call them “the pill.”
Combination pills release a regular dose of two hormones, estrogen and progestin. They prevent pregnancy in a few ways. They thicken the mucus in the cervix. This makes it hard for sperm to travel into the uterus. And they thin the lining of the uterus. This makes it harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.
The hormones also can stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month .
You have to take a pill every day to prevent pregnancy.
There are different kinds of packages for these pills. The most common one has 3 weeks of hormone pills and 1 week of sugar pills. The sugar pills don’t contain any hormones. You have your period on that week. But other packs have no sugar pills. If you take hormone pills for the whole month, you will not get your period as often. Or you may not get it at all.
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Perfect Use Vs Typical Use
“Typical use” refers to how most people use birth control. Sometimes, things don’t happen as planned. The condom might not be on properly, for instance, or you might forget a pill or two. “Perfect use,” on the other hand, would mean taking your pill at exactly the same time every day, and a condom worn properly every single time.