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.
The Pill Has Health Benefits
Side effects arent always a bad thing, and birth control pills arent just for birth control. The pill has many perks besides pregnancy prevention.
Both combination and progestin-only pills reduce menstrual cramps, lighten periods, and lower your risk of ectopic pregnancy.
The combination pill can also help prevent or lessen:
You can keep track of any potential side effects with our birth control app.
Starting After The 5th Day Of Your Cycle
You will not be protected from pregnancy straight away and will need additional contraception until you have taken the pill for 7 days.
If you start the pill after the 5th day of your cycle, make sure you have not put yourself at risk of pregnancy since your last period. If youre worried youre pregnant when you start the pill, take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after the last time you had unprotected sex.
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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 To Prevent Your Birth Control From Failing
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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Fertility Testing And Birth Control
Dont blame the pills! One of the main reasons that women fail to conceive is hormonal imbalance which can be triggered by various hidden conditions. Hormonal birth control pills, if taken correctly, wont affect fertility. But if taken erratically or without guidance by health experts, can wreak havoc in womens body and derail her normal cycles. Some women need to depend on hormonal birth control methods to have their hormonal levels in balance, or to treat conditions like POI and PCOS. Of course, these treatments should be prescribed by doctors.
Read more about hormonal imbalance
Because contraceptive methods offer more than just contraception, it is highly recommended you should get a fertility profile test when you decide to get pregnant, especially after being on birth control pills. YesMoms fertility profile testing will help you understand your hormonal levels and point out the real reason for your difficulty in conceiving.
You Can Get Pregnant Right Away When You Stop Taking The Pill
Many people on the pill want to have kids when the time is right. One of the great things about the birth control pill is you can get pregnant right after you stop taking it.
After you stop taking the pill, it can take a few months for your periods to return to the cycle you had before you started using it. Once in a while, people have irregular periods or no periods at all for a few months. This is more likely if your periods were irregular before you started taking the pill.
Even if your regular period doesnt come back right away, its still possible to get pregnant when youre not taking the pill. So if youre going off the pill but dont want to get pregnant, start using another birth control method right away.
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Birth Control Can Mask Menstrual Cycle Irregularities
One of the benefits of taking birth control can be a regular, predictable menstrual cycle. However, sometimes this can mask menstrual irregularities. If a woman has amenorrhea, bleeds irregularly, or has heavy periods, these issues can all contribute to infertility. Once a woman stops taking birth control, these irregularities may become apparent, making conception more challenging.
What To Do Next
If youre on the pill and think youre pregnant, the first step is a home pregnancy test. If its positive, stop taking the pill.
If you cant get a pregnancy test but think you may be pregnant, stop taking the pill and use a different form of birth control until you can confirm the pregnancy.
women with an IUD get pregnant each year, and the risk is highest within the first year after insertion. If youre the 1 in 100 women, youre probably wondering what happens if you keep your IUD.
The truth is that you may be facing . Theres no known increased risk of congenital abnormalities, but your risk of miscarriage and premature birth both go up.
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When Else Could Birth Control Be Used In Reproductive Medicine
This baseline state is also useful for other fertility procedures, including HSG and SIS .
Other circumstances that could prompt putting a woman into this baseline state include waiting on embryo testing results, insurance authorization for a treatment cycle, or facilitating surgical scheduling.
Once these things are completed, the pill is stopped, the menstrual cycle becomes un-paused, and treatment can resume.
In addition, because birth control pills reduce your bodys production of estrogen and progesterone, they can be taken to relieve symptoms of endometriosis in women not trying to conceive.
When Does The Contraceptive Implant Start Working After Giving Birth
After giving birth you are able to have the implant fitted any time and it is fine to use if you are breastfeeding. If fitted up to 21 days after giving birth you will be immediately protected against pregnancy. If the implant is fitted after 21 days, you will need to ensure that you use another method of contraception such as condoms for 7 days after the implant is fitted.
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The Myth About Birth Control Pills And Fertility
Oh yes, birth control pills help improve womens fertility! You read that right! There are enough pieces of scientific evidence suggesting that women, who have been on birth control pills for 4-5 years or longer, have a higher rate of conception in the first year after being off the pill compared to women who have never taken the pill or have taken it for a short period of time.
This might be a bit of a shock for most women, which is understandable. Since birth control pills prevent some natural activities of womens reproductive system, it is not a shame to believe that these pills may lead to infertility.
Oral contraceptive pills usually contain hormone estrogen and progesterone, or only progesterone . When women are on these pills, the hormones either increase the thickness of the cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to enter the cervix or prevent ovulation, depending on the hormones contained.
But, there is no evidence suggesting that hormonal or any other methods of birth control can cause women infertility .
How Does Birth Control Work
All birth control methods help prevent an egg and sperm from meeting. If sperm cant reach the egg or an egg isnt released, pregnancy cant happen.
But each birth control method works a little differently, and some can affect your fertility or fertile window differently.
When we say fertility, we mean your bodys ability to conceive. And your fertile window is the time in your cycle when your chances of conceiving are at their highest.
Some types of birth control just act as a barricade, while others use hormones to help you skip your fertile window or make it difficult for your partners sperm to reach their desired destination.
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When To Take Your Pills
Its important that you continue to take your pill every day at the same time. Missing a dose by several hours increases the likelihood youll begin ovulation. This increases your risk for an unplanned pregnancy.
Many smartphones come equipped with a calendar that can remind you. Some smartphone apps are also designed to help you remember to take medication and provide reminders.
Can Birth Control Cause Infertility Yes And No
Some women who have struggled with getting pregnant wonder if their past use of birth control might have caused their infertility. While there are assurances all over the internet that the birth control pill does not cause infertility, the answer is a bit more nuanced than that.
Lets say you are 33 years old and got married a year ago. In the past ten years, you have been using a variety of hormonal birth control methods. Now you and your partner are looking forward to starting a family. You get off the pill, hopeful and a bit anxious as you know time is working against youbiological clock, and all. You try for eight months to get pregnant, but nothing happens.
But could all the anxiety, doctor visits, and interventions be completely unnecessary?
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Birth Control Pills May Aid Fertility
Prolonged Use May Make it Easer to Conceive Later
Sept. 27, 2002 — Women who take birth control pills for long periods of time may find it a little easier to get pregnant once they go off the pill than other women.
A new study shows women who used oral contraceptives for more than five years before attempting to conceive are more likely to have success within six months or a year than women who have never used the pills or took them for a shorter period of time.
Researchers looked at nearly 8,500 planned pregnancies among couples in England during the 1990s. The pregnant women and their partners answered questionnaires about various factors that might have affected their fertility, such as use of birth control pills, age, whether they smoked or drank alcohol, their educational level, height, and weight.
The study found that the longer the women used birth control pills, the more likely they were to become pregnant within six months or a year of stopping use of the pills.
75.4% of the women who had been on the pill for more than five years conceived within six months of trying compared to 70.5% of women who had never used the pill. A similar advantage was found among long-term pill users who took up to a year to become pregnant compared to non-users .
Researchers say long-term pill users had the same fertility advantage whether they had previously had a child or not.
The findings appear in the October issue of the journal Human Reproduction.
It Regulates Menstrual Cycles
Hormonal birth control methods may balance the hormonal fluctuations that happen throughout your cycle. This can help with a variety of menstrual issues, including irregular or heavy bleeding. It can even help with polycystic ovarian syndrome symptoms, including acne and excess hair. Learn more about the best birth control for PCOS.
While the various birth control methods work differently,
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Can I Use Birth Control While Breastfeeding
Once a woman has become sexually active again after childbirth, couples should start thinking about a what method of birth control to use while breastfeeding. As weve discussed already, there is little risk involved with taking birth control during the early stages of pregnancy, but is there any risk to the baby while breastfeeding?
There is little evidence supporting that using birth controlwhile pregnant causes problems. Something to keep in mind is that combinationbirth control containing estrogen may reduce milk supply and can cause bloodclots. For this reason, your doctor will most likely prescribe a progestin-onlybirth control while breastfeeding.
If youre still concerned and wondering what happens if you take birth control while pregnant, you should speak with your doctor to find out the possibility of there being any complications with your baby.
Does Birth Control Affect Fertility Long
Many women wonder if years of birth control will cause fertility problems later in life. The good news is that long-term use of birth control pills should not impact your ability to get pregnant.
The hormones in the pill only stay in your body a short time, which is why you need to take one every day for the pill to be effective. So once you stop, you should return to your normal cycle, and your ability to get pregnant, within a few months, says Dr. Tiffany Bersani, a board-certified OBGYN with Beaufort Memorial Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists in Beaufort and Okatie. One exception is the birth control shot.
If you are using Depo-Provera it may take as long as six to 12 months after your last shot before your normal cycles return, and some women experience disruptions to their fertility for up to 18 months.
Be sure to let your provider know your plans to start a family so you can explore other alternatives for birth control ahead of time, Dr. Bersani says.
While infertility should not be a concern in terms of birth control use, Dr. Bersani says there are other risks of long-term usage. Some birth control pills may increase the risk of stroke, blood clots and heart attack in women who are already at risk for these things. There is also evidence that taking the pill may increase the risk for breast and cervical cancer. On the other hand, it may reduce the risk of ovarian, colorectal and endometrial cancers.
Download the Guide: Understanding Birth Control Options
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It Can Relieve Symptoms Of Pms And Pmdd
Many women experience some mix of physical or emotional symptoms in the weeks or days leading up to their period. This is known as premenstrual syndrome . Like most other menstrual issues, PMS is usually due to hormonal fluctuations.
Hormonal birth control is also a potential treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder . This is a type of severe PMS that tends to involve more emotional or psychological symptoms. Its often hard to treat. But a combination pill containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating PMDD. Its the only birth control pill to receive FDA approval for this purpose.
Just keep in mind that experts are still trying to fully uncover all the underlying causes of PMS and PMDD. Adding to this, different birth control methods have different doses and combinations of hormones. You may need to try a few options before you find the one that works for your symptoms.
How Can You Tell When Its Safe To Have Sex
Generally, though, the lowest risk moment in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy-wise, falls during the week or so right before your period. According to the APA, its safe to assume the fertility window is open between days 11 and 21 of your cycle. For those who really really want to have period sex , the earliest, bloodiest days are probably your best bet.
To be clear, though, just because its possible to get pregnant on your period doesnt mean you will. Its rare.
But conception concerns aside, some people report that cycle awareness helps them make the most of hormone-related peaks and valleys in productivity. Some even say it makes for less painful periods. And while fertility awareness methods of pregnancy prevention are imperfect and certainly less effective than many other contraceptive tools on the market, those who are actively trying to conceive could certainly benefit from familiarizing themselves with their menstrual cycles. Apps like Clue and Period Tracker offer quick and convenient ways to do that, although more precise methods exist, too.
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