Can Birth Control Pills Help You Get Pregnant

Not Taking The Pills At The Same Time Each Day

I’ve been on birth control pills for 2 weeks. Can I get pregnant once I stop taking them?

In addition to taking birth control pills daily, a person should also take the pills at around the same time each day. This can maintain their hormone levels more consistently.

A person should always take the minipill within the same 3-hour time window every day. Someone who misses their window should use a backup birth control method for the next 2 days or avoid having sex.

Many people set a daily alarm reminding them to take their pill at the correct time each day.

What Causes Issues With Fertility

Dr. Bersani points out that while the pill does not impact fertility, other factors do.

For instance, if you stop taking the pill after several years and find it difficult to get pregnant, it may be more likely related to your age and not your years of contraceptive use, she says.

With some women, genetic factors may impact their ability to get pregnant.

When it comes to conceiving, the more you know about your family medical history, the better, Dr. Bersani says.

For example, it would be helpful to know:

  • At what age your mother experienced menopause
  • If your mother or sister had trouble conceiving
  • Whether your mother had a hysterectomy, and if so, at what age and why
  • Your family history of reproductive disease or issues

Lifestyle can also have an impact on your ability to conceive. Consuming too much alcohol or caffeine can have an adverse effect on hormone production. And while it seems that smoking can be linked to all sorts of medical issues, studies have found that it may drastically affect your chances of getting pregnant, too.

Smoking can have a major impact on fertility, Dr. Bersani says. Cigarette smoke even secondhand smoke can be disruptive to your hormones.

Even your weight can be a factor. While being overweight is not a direct cause of infertility itself, it can also affect hormone production. The same is true if youre too thin.

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Im On The Pill Is It Safe To Have Sex During The Week I Get My Period When I Dont Take The Pill

Ive been taking the pill for a few months, and today my boyfriend is round, and we want to have sex, but Im about to start my period, so Im not taking my pill Is it okay to have sex?

Yes. When youre on the pill, its okay to have sex anytime, even during your period week the week when you dont take the pill or take placebo pills instead. As long as youve been taking your pill every day and starting your pill packs on time, youre protected from pregnancy even during that off week.

The pill works by preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs a process called ovulation. If ovulation doesnt happen, then no egg is present for sperm to join with a process called fertilization. If fertilization doesnt happen, then you cant get pregnant. So even during the week that youre not taking the pill, youre protected from pregnancy.

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Birth Control Pill And Birth Defects

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , there is no evidence that taking combination birth control pills or progestin-only pills while pregnant will harm your baby in any way, either by increasing the risk of birth defects or causing pregnancy complications.

It is important to note that there has not actually been a lot of research on this subject. This is not because of oversight or lack of interest. Medical ethics would simply not allow anyone to conduct research that may place a mother or her unborn baby in harm’s way.

As such, most of the data is derived from epidemiological research comparing mothers who have used birth control pills during early pregnancy against those who haven’t. In this regard, there has been little difference in either the number of birth defects, miscarriage, or stillbirths between either group.

The CDC notes that progestins taken in early pregnancy slightly increase the risk of hypospadias in boys .

The studies leading to this conclusion are older and were mostly of women taking progestins for infertility or to prevent pregnancy loss and not the low doses of progestins seen in today’s birth control pills.

How To Prevent Your Birth Control From Failing

What Are Birth Control Pills &  How Do They Work?

The best way to make sure your birth control works is to pick the method thats right for you. For example, if you dont think youll be able to remember to take a pill every day, you’d be better off using a semi-permanent option, such as an IUD or implant. These also are the most effective options.

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Success And Failure Rates Of Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are 99 percent effective with perfect use, which means taking the pill at the same time every day without missing a dose. Typical use is how most women take the pill, and then its about 91 percent effective. Both combined oral contraceptives and progestin-only pills have a typical failure rate of 9 percent.

Many women accidentally miss a dose or forget to start a new pack of pills. When that happens, the chances for an accidental pregnancy go up.

The Importance Of Cervical Mucus In Fertility

We are all taught in high school biology or sex-ed that it takes a sperm and an egg to make pregnancy happen. What is often left out of this equation is the cervical fluid, also known as cervical mucus.

In order for sperm to survive more than a few hours in the vagina, and then have the energy reserves to travel through the uterus all the way to the fallopian tubes and wait for the egg to arrive, it needs good quality, fertile cervical mucus. Cervical mucus also does the important job of filtering out bad sperm, i.e., sperm with poor morphology or motility , to maximize your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby .

Cervical mucus is secreted by pockets in the cervix known as crypts. The mucus changes in consistency and appearance as ovulation approaches, in order to better nourish sperm and help it to reach the egg. Before and after ovulation, cervical mucus is much thicker, and blocks access of sperm to the uterus . At the time of ovulation, the cervical mucus becomes thinner and stretchier, almost like raw egg whites, allowing the good sperm to swim easily through the vagina and the cervix, into the uterus and fallopian tubes. Once there, the sperm await an egg for fertilization, and can actually survive for up to 5 days in the female reproductive tract in the presence of fertile-type mucus.

Without sufficient, good quality mucus, there can be no baby.

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What Are The Chances Of Getting Pregnant First Month Off Birth Control Pill

The NHS advises that of women who are having regular sex:

  • aged 19 to 26, 92% will conceive after 1 year and 98% after 2 years
  • aged 35 to 39, 82% will conceive after 1 year and 90% after 2 years

As soon as you come off the pill there is a chance you will become pregnant. In fact, one study has suggested that as many as 40% of women who come of the pill will have a period or get pregnant in the first month. This goes up to 99% in 3 months.

If you dont want to get pregnant when you come off the pill, you will need to use another form of contraception such as condoms.


Study Selection Process And Eligibility Criteria

How long should a woman take birth control pills to regulate her cycles?

Studies published in English language anywhere in the world that reported a 12 month pregnancy rates following discontinuation of a reversible contraceptive method with the intention to get pregnant, with sample size of 100 women and above, and prospective clinical/observational study designs were the inclusion criteria for this systematic review and meta-analysis. One-year pregnancy rate was used to exclude women who developed secondary infertility. Unable to conceive despite of unprotected sexual intercourse with optimum frequency for 1 year and above is called infertility, but the scope of this review is delayed return of fertility after cessation of contraceptive use. Therefore, 1 year rate of pregnancy is more informative to assess delayed resumption to fertility than other time scales. The outcome of interest was the rate of pregnancy among modern reversible ex-contraception users. However studies reporting rate of delivery as the only outcome, Studies published before 1985, studies assessing fertility after abortion or post abortion contraception were excluded. Also Studies conducted in the same location during the same time period were considered as potential duplicates and therefore excluded from the analysis. Three experts reviewed each article and decided based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

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Getting Pregnant With An Iud

IUDs are a very effective method of birth control, says Costescu. The copper IUDs failure rate is a mere 0.8 percent, while a hormonal IUD has a failure rate of just 0.2 percent. A copper IUD is immediately effective when placed, and the hormonal type is effective within five days after being placed, he explains. And, since you dont have to do anything after its in place, and youve had a follow-up to make sure it was inserted properly, theres no chance for user error.

The one risk is that over the five-year life of your IUD, there is a three to five percent chance it may be expelled by your body. If someone does notice they suddenly have heavy bleeding with clots with an IUD inside, that could be a sign that the IUDs been expelled, Black explains. If this happens, do a string check to make sure the IUD is still in place if you cant find the string, make an appointment with your health-care provider so they can make sure everything is where it should be and, in the meantime, use backup birth control, such as condoms.

If you suspect youre pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. If its positive, its important to see a health-care provider as soon as possible to get an ultrasound. Its an urgent matter because if you get pregnant with an IUD there is a higher chance that it will be an ectopic pregnancy, which means the embryo has implanted in one of your fallopian tubes rather than in your uterus, which can be dangerous, and needs to be treated right away.

How Truly Restorative Reproductive Medicine Is The Solution For Infertilityeven Before You Experience It

That is why it is so important that teenagers and young women have access to information about whats known in the medical community as Fertility Awareness-Based Methods, more informally called fertility awareness methods or natural family planning . Doctors who are trained in restorative reproductive medicine such as Natural Procreative Technology , can address the root causes of painful or irregular periods. With the treatment provided by fertility awareness doctors, a woman can get true relief from her symptoms, while healing her fertility for whenever she is ready for pregnancy. When a woman is faced with infertility, a thorough evaluation of both her ovulations and of her mucus production is needed, which is something restorative reproductive medicine and NaPro can provide.

We find here yet another great reason why young women who are hoping to get pregnant one day should avoid hormonal birth control all together and opt for evidence-based methods of natural birth control, by learning to chart their cycles with a fertility awareness method. Not only will these methods preserve their fertility, but when the couple is ready to achieve a pregnancy, the knowledge gained through training in a FAM will help them reach that goal more quickly and easily.

To find a restorative reproductive health practitioner who can meet via telehealth, check out this resource.


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How K Health Can Help

Do you know you can access affordable primary care with the K Health app? If you have any concerns about the efficacy of your birth control method or would like to get an experts opinion about how to prevent pregnancy, speak to or chat with one of our doctors at K Health.

to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed, text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and is based on 20 years of clinical data.

How Do You Get It

When &  How to Start Taking Birth Control Pills?

A doctor or a nurse practitioner must prescribe the Pill. He or she will ask about a girls health and family medical history, and do a complete physical exam, which might include a pelvic exam. If the doctor or NP prescribes birth control pills, he or she will explain when to begin taking the Pill and what to do if pills are missed.

The doctor or NP will usually ask the girl to come back in a few months to have her blood pressure checked and to see if she is having any problems.

After that, girls who are having sex should get routine exams every 6 months to a year, or as recommended.

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Should I Avoid Certain Medications While Taking The Pill

You should always check with your healthcare provider before taking any new medications or herbal supplements. Certain drugs can make the pill less effective and increase your chances of getting pregnant. These products include:

  • Antiseizure medications.
  • Herbal supplements, such as St. Johns wort.
  • Medications used to treat HIV.

How Can You Tell If Youre Ovulating

The surest way to know is to take an ovulation test. They test your pee for levels of luteinizing hormone , which rise 24 to 36 hours before you ovulate.

Your body may also show signs that youre ovulating or that you will soon. For example, your body temperature rises slightly around the time of ovulation. And mucus that comes from your cervix may become stickier or feel more like raw egg whites.

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Transitioning Off Birth Control

It is certain that women need to stop all contraceptive methods before attempting to get pregnant. Women who stop taking birth control pills will notice that their menstrual cycles return to normal within one to three months after stopping the pill.

If your period has not yet started again after this time frame, get yourself a pregnancy test kit to confirm your pregnancy!

However if your cycles have returned, you still have difficulties conceiving. Speak to your fertility expert. Or read more here.

Preventing Birth Control Failure

What should one do after an unprotected intercourse with birth control pills? – Dr. Shailaja N

To prevent birth control failure, one thing you can do is to maintain a strict protocol of its usage and follow instructions thoroughly.

If you find it difficult to keep track of your daily birth control pill intake, then set a reminder on your phone.

It can be a simple daily alarm that rings at the same time each day when it is convenient for you to take your pill.

If taking a daily pill is difficult for you, other home contraceptive options like the patch, the vaginal ring, or a longer-term option like an implant, Depo shot, or IUD may be a better option for you.

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Iud And Miscarriage Risk

If you have an intrauterine device and become pregnant, there may be complications. Research suggests that if a person chooses to leave their IUD in during pregnancy, their miscarriage risk will increase to around 40%. Moreover, it can raise the likelihood of preterm birth by some 500%.

With these risks in mind, you should call your healthcare provider immediately to have your IUD removed if you find yourself pregnant and decide to continue the pregnancy. Removing the IUD early in a timely fashion can largely reverse those risks.

Fertility Does Not Equal Pregnancy

You may not get pregnant right away even after your fertility returns. Some people become pregnant within a month. Others may try to get pregnant for a long time.

At this point, your ability to get pregnant has nothing to do with previous birth control use. Your age, health, and lifestyle can all make it harder to get pregnant. You may also experience infertility.

You may have concerns after you stop birth control. Talk to your healthcare provider if:

  • Your period doesnt come back after three months
  • The number of days you have your period changes
  • Your cycle is irregular
  • There is a major change in how heavy your bleeding is
  • You are younger than 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for 12 months
  • You are over 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for six months

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Preventing Pregnancy Without Hormonal Birth Control

Even though the majority of research shows hormonal birth control doesn’t cause infertility, there are other risks and side effects associated with it, and some people simply prefer to avoid it. Does this mean you have no way to prevent pregnancy? Of course not!

You may want to consider barrier method options that can provide an effective way to avoid pregnancy while not interfering with your hormones. These options include contraception like condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps.

Tips To Prevent Pill Failure

Pin on Pregnancy

If a person takes the pill correctly and does not skip any pill days, it is highly successful. While using birth control tablets, the following techniques can help you avoid an unexpected pregnancy:

Read the package and carefully follow the directions.

Every day, take the tablet at the same time.

Always obtain a fresh pill pack at least one week before the previous pill pack expires.

Take any missing pills as soon as possible.

If a person misses two or more tablets in a row, use a backup form of contraception, such as a condom.

If a woman is concerned about her ability to take her tablets on a continuous basis, she should consult her doctor or gynecologist about other birth control options. There are several solutions available that do not necessitate the use of a daily tablet, such as the IUD.

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