How Good Is The Pill At Preventing Pregnancy

How Do These Rates Compare To Not Using Any Birth Control Method

The combined pill or ‘the pill’: how does it work?

The perfect-use and typical-use rates are often compared to the pregnancy rate for couples who are not using any method of birth control. Among 100 couples who use no birth control and regularly have sex, it is expected that about 85 of the female partners will become pregnant in a year .

Some people are physiologically less likely or completely unable to become pregnant or get someone pregnant. A personâs ability to get pregnant decreases with age . People who have sex less frequently are also less likely to get pregnant.

This is why perfect-use and typical-use rates shouldnât be interpreted as a personâs individual risk of pregnancy. For example, the phrase âa person who uses condoms correctly every time they have sex has a 2% chance of pregnancyâ is not correct. A personâs individual risk of pregnancy depends on a variety of factors.

Is The Mini Pill Right For You

If you’re over 40, a smoker, breastfeeding, overweight, experience migraines or have high blood pressure, you might not be able to take oestrogen, which is in the combined pill. The mini pill might be the best contraceptive pill for you as it contains only progesterone, meaning that women who cannot take oestrogen can use it.

Unlike the combined pill, the mini pill will not raise your blood pressure, but it may not control your periods in the way that the combined pill does. 40% of women who take the mini pill have irregular bleeding.

The mini pill is also taken every day there is no 7-day break as there is with the combined pill. If you take a break you will not be protected. Another important difference to the combined pill is that, in most cases, the mini pill allows you only a 3 hour window in which to remember to take the pill. If you take the mini pill more than 3 hours after you usually take it, you will not be protected against pregnancy.

One of the exceptions to this rule are Cerazette and Cerelle, which are the most popular brands of mini pill. They offer a 12-hour window in which you can take your pill, so if you suffer from any of the above, Cerazette or Cerelle may be the best pill for you.

Find out more about the mini pill here.

How It Prevents Pregnancy

The pill prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg each month . It also:

  • thickens the mucus in the neck of the womb, so it is harder for sperm to penetrate the womb and reach an egg
  • thins the lining of the womb, so there is less chance of a fertilised egg implanting into the womb and being able to grow

The pill is over 99% effective if used correctly. Other methods of contraception are better at preventing pregnancy, such as the IUD, IUS, implant and injection.

There are many different brands of pill, made up of 3 main types:

Also Check: Vagisil Cream While Pregnant

How Effective Are Birth Control Pills

9 out of 100 users will get pregnant each year.

The pill may be less effective for users who are overweight. Also, certain medications and supplements may make the pill less effective. Vomiting and diarrhea may also keep the pill from being completely protective from pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider for advice about which birth control method suits you.

What Are The Types Of Birth Control Pills

Pills To Prevent Pregnancy / The Pill the second best ...

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.

You May Like: Kt Tape Pregnancy Round Ligament Pain

What Else Should I Know About The Pill

The pill:

  • does not protect you from sexually transmissible infections . The best way to lessen the risk of STIs is to use barrier protection such as male and female condoms with all new sexual partners
  • can sometime be supplied in small quantities by your pharmacist, without a prescription. If you run out of pills and cannot see a doctor for a new script, speak to a pharmacist. They can often give you a small supply of pills without a script. If possible show them your old pill packet.

Disadvantages Of The Pill

The birth control pill has a few disadvantages, ranging from side effects to the inconvenience of having to take a pill daily.

From a side effect perspective, both combined and progestin-only birth control pills are safe and have only a few common side effects. The most common side effects from birth control are fluid retention, nausea, breast tenderness and spotting between periods.

Weve explained these side effects in more detail in our guide to birth control side effects, with scientific data on how common each side effect is.

Although rare, birth control pills can also cause a slight increase in your risk of developing blod clots. This risk is highest if youre aged above 35 and smoke cigarettes. Weve explained these risks in more detail in our guide to birth control and smoking.

Another uncommon potential side effect of its ability to affect your sex drive. Our guide to birth control and your sex drive goes into more detail about how birth control pills could cause you to feel more or less interested in sexual activity.

There are also practical disadvantages of the pill. First, in order to stay protected, youll need to take the pill at the same time every day. This can be impractical for a variety of reasonsbusy schedules, hectic lives, forgetfulness, etc. These things happen to the best of us.

Also Check: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant

Does Bleeding After Taking Ipill Means No Pregnancy

Nope. The bleeding you get when youre on the pill is not the same as a menstrual period. Your period on the pill is technically called withdrawal bleeding, referring to the withdrawal of hormones in your pill, and in your body. The drop in hormone levels causes the lining of your uterus to shed .

Dont Use St Johns Wort

Birth Control Basics: Condoms, The Pill & Patch

St. Johns wort is a popular over-the-counter herbal supplement that can affect liver metabolism. This supplement can interfere with birth controls effectiveness. You could experience breakthrough bleeding and possibly an unplanned pregnancy if you take the two medicines together. Talk with your doctor about any additional measures you should take, including a backup protection method while youre taking St. Johns wort.

Knowing what can make your birth control ineffective and how you can increase your chances for successfully avoiding pregnancy will help you make the best decisions for yourself.

Recommended Reading: Can I Get Lasik While Pregnant

How The Pill Works To Prevent Pregnancy

Monique Rainford, MD, is board-certified in obstetrics-gynecology, and currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Medicine. She is the former chief of obstetrics-gynecology at Yale Health.

Have you ever wondered how the pill works to prevent pregnancy? The pill is one of the most effective forms of contraception, with 41% of females between the ages of 15 and 24 and 22% of females between 25 and 34 using it, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Here are some facts that can help you decide if the pill is the right option for you.

Perfect Use Or Typical Use

All the methods are listed here, showing how effective they are with “perfect use”. This is when the method is always used correctly.

Some methods are less effective with “typical use”. This is when the method is not always used correctly for example, missing a pill or getting the injection later than you need to. Some methods do not have typical use rates because they have no user failure.

Contraception is less effective at preventing pregnancy if not used correctly.

Don’t Miss: Vagisil While Pregnant

What Are Alternatives To The Pill

If youre not confident you can remember to take a daily pill, talk to your healthcare provider about these other birth control options:

  • Etonogestrel implant .
  • Depo-Provera® progestin injection .

A note from Cleveland Clinic

The birth control pill is a highly effective way to prevent pregnancy when you take it consistently every day. The pill can also lower your risk of certain problems, such as uterine and ovarian cancers, migraines, and acne. Some women experience medication side effects like nausea, though this is usually temporary. You may need to try several different brands of the pill before finding the one that works best for you. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about the pill.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/21/2020.


Take The Placebo Pills

How Effective Is The Birth Control Pill At Preventing ...

Combination pill packs typically contain three weeks of active pills that contain hormones and one week of inactive, or placebo, pills. Although it isnt medically necessary to take the placebo pills, doing so can help you stay in your routine.

If you choose to skip the placebo pills, theres a chance that you may be late in starting your next pill pack. This can interrupt your bodys expected level of hormones and cause you to ovulate. Ovulation increases your chances of being pregnant.

Also Check: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant

Have You Experienced Side Effects On The Combined Pill

A low dose pill such as Loestrin 20 might be the best contraceptive pill for you. These types of contraceptive pill contain both oestrogen and progesterone, but with a lower dose of oestrogen compared to the regular combined pill. This means that oestrogen-related side effects are often reduced.

Side effects of the combined pill which can be reduced by using a low dose pill include:

  • nausea
  • sore breasts

When Is The Pill Not A Good Option

The pill may not be a good option for you if you:

  • find remembering to take a daily tablet difficult
  • have certain types of migraine or headache
  • are very overweight
  • have a close family member who has had a deep vein thrombosis
  • are taking certain types of medication which might stop the pill from working
  • have had some health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart or liver disease
  • are over 35 years and smoke
  • have been treated for breast cancer
  • are unable to move around for a long time .

Recommended Reading: Is It Okay To Use Vagisil While Pregnant

Wednesday 9 October 2019

Getting frisky doesnt have to be risky business not when there are many contraception methods out there to suit different needs.

Contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy and some types will also protect you from sexually transmissible infections .

You might find yourself asking: Which method will be best for me and my lifestyle? Which method protects against STIs?

What about convenience of use? Possible side-effects? Cost? How effective will it be?

To celebrate World Contraception Day this September 26, join us as we break it down for you by exploring some of the most popular types of contraceptives – with pictures. Starting with

What Causes Birth Control To Fail

When does an emergency contraceptive pill fail? – Dr. Apoorva P Reddy

Certain conditions or behaviors can increase the likelihood that your birth control wont be as effective at preventing pregnancy.

If you cant remember to take your pill at the same time every day, you increase your risk of pregnancy. Birth control pills are designed to maintain a constant level of hormones in your body. If you skip or miss a dose, you hormone levels can drop quickly. Depending on where you are in your cycle, this may cause you to ovulate. Ovulation can increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

Reckless alcohol consumption can also cause birth control failure. While under the influence, some women may forget to take their pill at the correct time. If you vomit too soon after taking your pill, your body may not be able to absorb any of the hormones. This can result in a drop in your hormone levels, which could trigger ovulation.

Taking another medication or supplement at the same time as your birth control pill can also affect the pills effectiveness.

Keep these tips in mind if youre on birth control and want to prevent pregnancy.

Read Also: Braces While Pregnant

How Effective Is The Pill In Preventing Pregnancy

How good is birth control pills at preventing pregnancy?

The pill has the potential to be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy if you take it without fail meaning you don’t forget to take the pill for even a day or two. However, taking the pill perfectly can be difficult, which is why nine out of 100 women who use the pill will have an unintended pregnancy every year.

Does my boyfriend need to pull out if I’m on birth control?

You don’t need any condoms, birth control pills or other items to practice the pull out method. Instead, your partner just needs to pull out before they ejaculate. This means the pull out method is free, easy to practice and always an option, even if you don’t have any other forms of birth control available.

Can you still get pregnant even with birth control?

Yes. Although birth control pills have a high success rate, they can fail and you can get pregnant while on the pill. Certain factors increase your risk of getting pregnant, even if you’re on birth control.

What Are The Advantages Of The Contraceptive Pill

What are the advantages of the combined pill?

  • It can make your periods regular, lighter, and less painful
  • It gives you the choice not to have a monthly bleed or control when you have a bleed
  • Your fertility will return to normal immediately after the you stop using the pill
  • It is not used during sex so will not affect spontaneity
  • It helps protect against some forms of cancer , colorectal, and ovarian).
  • It reduces the risk of getting fibroids, ovarian cysts and non-cancerous breast disease
  • It may reduce acne and improve your skin.

What are the advantages of the progestin-only pill?

  • It can be used when you are breast feeding.
  • Your fertility will return to normal immediately after the you stop using the pill
  • You can start it straight after childbirth, abortion or miscarriage
  • It is not used during sex so will not affect spontaneity
  • Your period may become lighter or stop altogether

Also Check: Mayo Clinic Pregnancy

How Effective Is Your Contraception

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


We celebrate World Health Day on 7 April.

Being able to control if and when you have children is a big part of maintaining your health. So is choosing the right contraceptive method for you.

This month we compare the effectiveness of different contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy. Different methods suit different people according to their age, life stage, finances and personality.

With no method of contraception, 85% of women in their 20s will become pregnant within one year.

We specifically look at effectiveness of preventing pregnancy here. Only condoms and diaphragms provide protection against both pregnancy and STIs.

It Can Relieve Symptoms Of Pms And Pmdd

Contraceptive pill prevent pregnancy contraception concept ...

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.

You May Like: Kinesio Tape For Pregnancy Round Ligament Pain

More Questions And Answers About Birth Control Pills

What is continuous use with combination birth control pills?

With continuous birth control pill use, you take an active pill every day and never have a period. You might have breakthrough bleeding, especially at first. You may want fewer periods or none at all, especially if you have problem periods. But you may wonder how youâll know if you get pregnant by accident.

If you think you could be, take a pregnancy test. They work even if you’re taking the pill. If the test is positive, stop taking your pills and call your doctor.

Do I have to get permission from my parents to go on the pill if Iâm younger than 18?

It depends where you live. In some states, you can get a prescription without permission. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the laws in your area. A sexual education counselor might be able to give you some ideas about how to bring up the subject with your parents. Even if you decide against that, they can talk to you privately if youâre confused, unsure, or just curious about sexual activity.

How old do I have to be to take the pill?

Thereâs no minimum age once you start to get your period, but some doctors suggest waiting until around 16 to give your body a chance to properly establish its cycle. Itâs a good idea to talk to your doctor, parents, or a counselor to make sure youâre physically and mentally ready, both for the pill and for sex.

Will it make my cycle more regular?

Will the pill make me gain weight?

Will the pill make my breasts larger?

Related Posts

Recent Stories