Youve Just Started Taking It
It may sound like a magic pill that stops all unwanted pregnancies, but it does not work immediately.
In other words, dont fall into the trap of thinking you can have unprotected sex the same day you start taking your Pill.
You should always be aware of where you are in your monthly cycle when you start taking it.
If your period has just finished then youre good to go as the Pill will stop you ovulating again.
But if youre in the middle of your cycle and want to start taking the Pill you need to use another form of protection for at least seven days to give it time to work.
Can You Get Pregnant While On Birth Control
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Worried about becoming pregnant? Youre not alone. According to the CDC, almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, meaning they occurred without any planning or expectation of becoming pregnant.
Although the pill, patch and other forms of hormonal birth control are very effective at reducing your risk of pregnancy, its still possible to get pregnant while youre using birth control.
Below, weve explained what your risk of becoming pregnant is while you use the pill, patch or other forms of birth control. Weve also discussed how common mistakes can hugely increase your risk of pregnancy, as well as the steps that you can take to protect yourself.
Why Are Condoms Not 100 Percent Effective
People are not perfect, which is why condoms are not 100% effectivethis goes for other birth control methods too. Condoms can also fail as an effective method by breaking or being put on incorrectly.
The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.
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How Can Pandia Health Help
Want to know what the best method of birth control is for you? At Pandia Health, we take pride in prescribing birth control based on the Pandia Health algorithm, which considers several factors, including age, race/ethnicity, BMI, and your personal medical history.
Our expert doctors can advise on the proper use of your birth control, as this can change its effectiveness. For example, taking the pill at the same time every day lowers your risk of getting pregnant.
Does The Pill Protect Against Stds
Nope. The pill is really good at preventing pregnancy, but it wont protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
Luckily, using condoms every time you have sex really lowers your chances of getting or spreading STDs. Condoms also protect against pregnancy so using condoms + birth control pills together gives protection from STDs AND awesome pregnancy-preventing power.
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How Long After Stopping The Pill Will I Ovulate
After stopping the pill, you could ovulate as soon as 48 hours later. Most women wont have a period for 2-4 weeks after stopping, but you could still get pregnant in this time.
As the first period after stopping the pill is a withdrawal bleed and its not until the second that you have a natural period, the NHS advises not trying to get pregnant until after this period. This is to allow your body time to get back to its natural cycle. Plus, it gives you time to make lifestyle changes to get your body in the best physical condition for pregnancy. This might include taking folic acid supplements, quitting smoking, eating a more balanced diet, and cutting down on alcohol.
Talking With Your Doctor
When youre ready to make a decision about birth control, consult your doctor. Together, the two of you can weigh your options and rule out any forms of birth control that dont suit your needs or your lifestyle. Then, you can focus your discussion on the options most appealing to you.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you plan to have children? If you do, how soon?
- Can you fit a daily pill into your schedule? Will you forget?
- Is this method safe given your health profile and family history?
- Are you looking for other benefits, such as fewer periods?
- Will you be paying out of pocket, or is this covered by insurance?
You dont have to make a choice right away. Gather as much information as you feel you need.
When youre ready, tell your doctor what you think would be best. If they agree, you can get a prescription and begin using birth control right away. If you begin taking a form of birth control and decide its not for you, talk with your doctor. Let them know what you do and dont like. That way, the two of you can look for an alternative that may be better suited to your needs.
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The Shock It Was Deep
But, it eventually wore off, I had a fairly easy pregnancy and awesome labor and delivery, and now I have my littlest girl who is the absolute BEST. Couldnt imagine my life without her, she completed it in a way I didnt know I needed. But damn, nothing throws you like an unexpected BABY.
A lot has changed since she arrived: Im a single mom now, and theres not a whole lot happening in the relationship department. But, I do still take the pill , and just as an extra measure of safety, Ive got a nice little copper IUD nestled up there. You know, as backup. JUST IN CASE.
How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Stopping The Pill
The contraceptive pill stops your body from ovulating, but as soon you stop taking the pill this process kicks back into action. So it is possible to get pregnant as soon as you come off the pill.
As many as 84 out of 100 of couples will get pregnant within a year starting to have regular sex without contraception. These numbers vary depending on your age, but its safe to say, if you dont want to get pregnant and youre not on the pill, youll need to use another form of contraception.
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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy
When youre pregnant, its normal to experience certain early symptoms and changes to your body. Common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy include:
Its important to know that the symptoms listed above can also occur because of many illnesses and medical conditions, and having one or several of these symptoms doesnt always mean that youre pregnant.
However, if youve noticed any of the symptoms listed above and feel concerned that you could be pregnant, its important to seek advice and assistance.
To verify whether or not youre pregnant, consider using a pregnancy test. You can either use a home pregnancy test or get a blood test from your healthcare provider. Both types of pregnancy test are accurate, although a blood test can detect pregnancy earlier than a home test.
If youre pregnant, schedule an appointment to talk to your healthcare provider as soon as you can. Theyll be able to provide detailed information about the steps you can take to prepare for your pregnancy, including the changes youll need to make to your use of birth control.
Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Had The Depo
The most common reason for pregnancy with Depo-Provera a shot that contains the hormone progestin is not getting it on time . If you do stay on top of it, the pregnancy rate after one year of use is very low. But with typical use, the failure rate hovers around six percent. If you think it will be hard to keep up with your shots, you should look for another method of birth control.
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What To Do If You Become Pregnant While Taking Birth Control
The good news is that studies show taking birth control into early pregnancy will not hurt the baby. Some small studies have shown there may be a possibility of early delivery, low birth weight or congenital urinary tract issues, but these are very rare.
The one complication of getting pregnant while on birth control is a possible tubal pregnancy. This is when the fertilized egg embeds itself into the fallopian tube and not the uterus. This can be a serious and life-threatening complication and needs medical attention right away.
The best thing to do if you think you are pregnant is take a pregnancy test at home. If you test positive, stop taking birth control pills right away. If the test is negative, see your doctor for instructions. You may want to stop your pills anyway and use another form of safe birth control like a condom until you receive the all clear from your doctor. Heres more on what to do after finding out you are pregnant.
How Effective Is Birth Control At Preventing Pregnancy
Most methods of birth control are highly effective at preventing pregnancy. However, they can become less effective if theyre used incorrectly, often by a significant amount.
Most birth control pills are 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy if theyre used perfectly, meaning you take your pill on time every day, never forget pills and dont take any medications that could interfere with the pill.
However, as we all know, human behavior isnt perfect, meaning many people miss doses, take their pill too late in the day and make other mistakes. As a result, the real-life effectiveness of most birth control pills is about 91 percent on average.
This means that under perfect use, only one out of every 100 birth control pill users will become pregnant every year. Under typical real-life conditions, about nine out of every 100 birth control pill users will become pregnant every year.
Other forms of hormonal birth control are approximately as effective at preventing pregnancy as the pill:
The birth control ring, commonly sold as NuvaRing®, is 99 percent effective when its used perfectly and 91 percent effective under real-life conditions.
The birth control patch is equally effective, with a 99 percent effectiveness rate when used perfectly and a 91 percent effectiveness rate in real-life conditions.
The birth control injection, or Depo-Provera®, is 99 percent effective when used under perfect conditions and 94 percent effective in real-life conditions.
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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.
In Other Words I Was A Model Pill
My ex-husband and I were still on the fence about whether or not we wanted to add to our family, and when the right time for that would be, so there were no discussions about going off the pill happening when it all went down. I remember when I realized shit had gone really sideways: I was sitting on the couch, and my palms were itching LIKE CRAZY. The kind of itch where youd like to just peel off your skin because that seems like the only thing that will make it stop. Since I was preeeeetty sure I wasnt about to come into a large sum of money, I went to the Google, prepared to learn that I had contracted some sort of rare and probably painfully fatal itchy palm disease. What I did discover was much more shocking.
About three pages into the Google results, there was a word hit for one of those pregnancy and baby online communities. Itchy palms and pregnant. I must have stared at that line for seven minutes. I kept thinking, Well, thatcant beright? Heres the thing: I was taking the pill non-stop, to suppress my period , so I honestly could not remember the last time Id had one. You miss a period, you figure youre pregnant, right? But if you dont get a period, and youre consistently and correctly taking your birth control pills, the thought doesnt ever enter your mind.
I threw my laptop to the ground and ran to the bathroom, rummaging around all my baskets of useless shit to find a leftover pregnancy test.
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Does The Morning After Pill Affect Your Fertility
There is no evidence to suggest that taking the morning after pill will affect your fertility. In fact, the WHO has claimed that any media coverage suggesting that taking the morning affect pill affects fertility is factually incorrect.
What Are The Different Types Of Birth Control Pills
There are 2 types of birth control pills , and many different brands.
Combination Pills :
Combination pills have 2 hormones: estrogen and progestin. Combination pills are the most common type of birth control pill.
As long as you take 1 pill every day, youll be protected from pregnancy. You dont have to take your combination pill at the exact same time every day. But taking it at the same time is a good idea because it helps keep you in the habit of remembering your pill.
Progestin-Only Pills :
Progestin-only pills have 1 kind of hormone these pills dont have any estrogen. You must take your progestin-only pill within the same 3 hours every day to be protected from pregnancy.
The one exception is Slynd : you dont need to take Slynd within the same three-hour window every day, but its best to take it around the same time if you can to help keep you on schedule.
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Experience Of Getting Pregnant On The Pill From Others
I got pregnant after three months on birth control. I took them every single day without missing a dose. I dont understand what happened. I didnt take any other medications and took the pills the same time every day. The only thing I can think of is I like to have a beer once in a while. Anyways, I had a son and he is such a blessing to our lives.
I became pregnant while taking birth control and had an ectopic pregnancy. I had taken a course of antibiotics for a sinus infection and I am pretty sure that is what caused it to happen. Im just more careful now if I have to take other medications.
I had a pregnancy while taking the pill after 20 years of being on birth control. I missed a few days while we were on vacation. It was surprising because if you are on the pill a long time, you may not ovulate right away. I guess I did! Our baby is wonderful and we are so happy to be parents.
How The Female Reproductive System Works
To understand how and when pregnancy actually begins, take a look at how the female reproductive system functions:
- In most females, about once a month, several eggs mature, and one is released from the ovary .
- Up until this time, the lining of the uterus has become thick so it can act as a nest for the egg.
- Once the egg is released, if it is not fertilized within 12 to 48 hours, it disintegrates.
- Approximately two weeks later, the thick lining of the uterus is shedthis is what causes a menstrual period.
- Your menstrual cycle then begins again .
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You Wont Get Pregnant If You Use The Pill Right Wrong
I used the pill for a decade before I began having children in my early 30s. It seemed like a foolproof method of birth control.
After having two children fairly close together, I felt that my family was complete. So imagine my surprise when I turned up pregnant in the spring of 2011 while on the pill.
After some panicked Googling, I thought I had found the culprit: A few weeks earlier, Id come down with strep, and the family doctor had prescribed an antibiotic. I had taken the antibiotic with no thought whatsoever about birth control.
Aha! That explained it, I thought. And the doctor later confirmed my suspicion: The antibiotic, she said, might have lowered the efficacy of the pill. A week later, I had a miscarriage.
We changed insurance plans, and soon I found a highly recommended OB/GYN and asked about getting an intrauterine device. Based on some factors related to the ultrasound the OB required before ordering an IUD, she talked me out of it. Furthermore, an IUD would have cost me about $600, even with our excellent insurance plan.
Figuring that my previous unplanned pregnancy was just a fluke, I went back on the same pill. It cost me only $5 per month, I was a reliable pill taker, and switching to a different form of birth control seemed like a hassle. A few months later, I discovered I was pregnant again.
My third child is now 9 months old. I wouldnt change anything and cant imagine my life or our family without her.