You’re On Birth Control
Hormonal birth control methodsthe pill, patch, ring, implant, shot, or IUDsignificantly decrease your chances of getting pregnant. But they don’t eliminate your chances.
These methods work in various ways. For example, IUDs block sperm from reaching the egg, while the pill, ring, and patch prevent ovulation, explains Dr. Brauer. Even if you’re committed to taking birth control, you still have to use it correctly and consistently.
Also, if you rely on contraceptive pills, take note: Some pill packs contain four to seven days of inactive pills that don’t contain any hormones. On rare occasions, this may be long enough to allow for the recruitment of a mature egg. “This is often referred to as ‘escape ovulation’ and is one reason for oral hormonal contraception failure,” says Dr. Brauer. Missing doses of hormonal contraception could also increase the chances of accidental pregnancy.
Can Taking Birth Control Pills Harm Your Baby
While its important to stop taking the pill as soon as you suspect you might be pregnant, taking the pill during early pregnancy shouldnt harm the developing fetus.
Some scientific studies have shown a possible link between use of birth control pills at the time of conception and an increased risk of low birth weight or preterm birth or urinary tract abnormalities, but these issues havent been observed in clinical experience, according to Mayo Clinic.
The risk to the developing baby is generally very low, but talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
The 24 To 48 Hour Window
Dr. Brant says the general rule of thumb for the combination pill is to consider the 24 to 48 hour safe window. You can play catch up with missed pills before that, but after that time window has passed, youre no longer protected against pregnancy.
If youve missed three or more days or if you havent taken a pill in 48 hours and have had unprotected sex in the last five days, its best to call your doctor and use an emergency contraception.
Its never wrong to reach out to your provider if youre confused about what type of pills you take or what to do if youve missed multiple days, says Dr. Brant. They can help you decide what to do next.
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Ectopic Pregnancy: Good To Know
If youre taking the pill, youre not that likely to get pregnant. But keep in mind that if youre taking the minipill , you may have a slightly higher chance of an ectopic pregnancy .
An IUD is so good at preventing pregnancy in the uterus that when it does fail, its more likely to result in an ectopic pregnancy.
So lets say that youre among the number of women who do get pregnant while taking the pill. Youve got questions buzzing round your head. We got you:
Getting Pregnant After Vaginal Ring Removal
Vaginal rings contain estrogen and progesterone that inhibit ovulatory cycles to prevent conception. The hormones are absorbed through the reproductive tissue and – similarly to the pills and patches – inhibit ovulation.
Getting pregnant after NuvaRing®, Annovera, or other vaginal ring brands is typically possible within the first menstrual cycle. Ovulation after birth control vaginal ring removal might take up to three months to return and become regular.
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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.
Answer By Family Medicine Physician Heather Eberspacher Md:
The pill is a tiny oral medication a woman can take at the same time each day to prevent pregnancy. Also called an oral contraceptive, the pill can help make periods more regular and less heavy. Some birth control pills can also help clear up acne.
If your partner uses the pill perfectly, it’s 99% effective. But nobody’s perfect, so the actual effectiveness is closer to 93% effective. That means about 7 people out of 100 pill users get pregnant each year.
Ways to increase birth control pill effectiveness:
- Take the pill at around the same time every day
- If you accidentally miss a day, take your missed pill as soon as you can. Then take the next pill at your normal time
- Know which drugs limit the pill’s effectiveness
I always emphasize that you are never locked into one birth control option. If one method doesn’t work for you, you can try something else. We offer many birth control options to Huskers at the University Health Center.
If you want to combine two different birth control options like the pill and a condom you’ll have a much lower risk of unplanned pregnancy. Condoms have the added benefit of protecting you against sexually transmitted infections like HIV, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Do condoms work?
When used correctly and consistently, condoms are another form of birth control. There are two types of condoms:
Ways to increase condom effectiveness:
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You Vomited After Taking The Pill
If you vomit shortly after taking your birth control pill, your body may not have had enough time to fully absorb the hormones in the medication.
This can be a serious problem if youre one of the many women who experience nausea after you start using the pill a common side effect that may be caused by the ethinyl estradiol in many combined birth control pills.
You Took Medication That Affects The Pill
The hormones in birth control pills need to be absorbed by your body before theyre effective at preventing pregnancy.
Like many other medications, most birth control pills are absorbed in your gastrointestinal tract, after which theyre metabolized in the liver by specific enzymes. Taking other medications that affect the same enzymes can lower absorption and make the birth control pill less effective.
Medications that can affect birth control pills include antibiotics such as rifampin and rifapentine, antifungal medications such as griseofulvin and several medications used to treat and manage epileptic seizures.
Many antiretroviral medications, including those used to treat HIV, can also affect the enzymes that metabolize hormonal birth control and reduce its effectiveness.
Finally, some health supplements and herbal remedies may interact with birth control pills and make them less effective. For example, the popular herbal remedy St Johns wort is linked to a higher risk of unexpected pregnancy in women who use oral contraceptives.
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What Are The Chances Of Me Getting Pregnant If I Use Birth Control A Condom And Pull Out Method
Question posted by SkullFlower on 12 Feb 2015
I am 18 years old, and I’ve been on birth control since i’ve been 16. I am on birth control, and I make him use condoms. And even with the condom on I make him pull out before he ejaculates. What are my chances?
Dear Lord, what is with you girls? Birth control gives you only a less then 1% chance of pregnancy: You don’t need anything else. If you got pregnant with all that it would be a miracle and pulling out is not a method of birth control, you can drop that. When you are on the pill or another type of hormonal birth control you do not ovulate. Without an egg you can’t get pregnant. These birth control meds were invented so that women could relax and enjoy sex. You need to learn to trust them, like all the girls do.
How Effective Is The Pill
The combined pill contains hormones that prevent ovulation, which is when the ovaries release an egg for fertilization. Another type of pill, known as the minipill, causes a persons cervical mucus to thicken and the uterine lining to thin, which reduces the likelihood of sperm reaching an egg.
The birth control pill is very effective if a person takes it correctly and does not miss any pill days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the pill is 99.7% effective with perfect use. This means that fewer than 1 in 100 people who take the pill may become pregnant in 1 year.
However, with typical use, the effectiveness of the pill is 91%, meaning that about 9 in 100 people may become pregnant in a year of taking it.
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Stis Can Cause Infertility
Some women who take birth control may be less likely to use condoms. While condoms, IUDs, and the pill all prevent pregnancy, only condoms protect against sexually transmitted infections . Many STIs that are left untreated, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, can lead to problems with fertility. Women who are on birth control should still use condoms to protect against STIs in situations where infection may be a risk. Women should also get tested regularly for STIs and treated immediately if an STI is found.
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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.
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News Flash: Birth Control = Rubber Stis = Glue
Women under 30 years old are incredibly fertiletheir ability to get pregnant is at its peak. In the U.S., about three in four sexually active women under 30 are using some type of birth control. But many of them ask me, does using birth control now hurt my chances of getting pregnant in the future? Sigh of relief: it does not.
All reversible birth control methods will help prevent pregnancy while youre using them, but none have long-lasting effects on your ability to get pregnant when you stop. Thats why people who use the pill but accidentally forget to take it for a few days can get pregnant that month.
Lets look, for example, at how long it takes for women to get pregnant when they quit the pill compared to when they quit non-hormonal fertility awareness methods . A big study of over 2,000 women who quit the pill after using it for an average of seven years found that 21% were pregnant in one month and 79% were pregnant in a year. Women who stopped using FAM had very similar rates of pregnancy, with 20-25% pregnant in one month and 80% pregnant in a year. In other words, women who quit the pill get pregnant just as fast as other women, even if theyve used the pill for years.
Okay, so birth control doesnt hurt your chances of having a baby in the future. But there is something that does: untreated sexually transmitted infections . By the age of 25, one in two young people having sex will get an STI.
Birth Control In A Nutshell
First up, a reminder of what birth control is and how it works so you can better understand its effects on pregnancy.
Birth control is any method you use to prevent pregnancy. There are plenty of options out there: barrier birth control , surgical methods , and hormonal birth control are some of your options.
The most common form of hormonal birth control is the pill. Birth control pills are more than 99 percent effective when used correctly. Sounds almost foolproof, right? Not quite. Were human and sometimes we skip doses. That means the pill is only 91 percent effective in reality .
Those who want to avoid daily pills may prefer intrauterine devices or implants. These are more than effective.
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What Causes Birth Control To Fail
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.
Other Reasons The Pill Can Fail
You donât store it right. Birth control pills should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat, so donât keep them in your bathroom. Make sure to keep them in their original packaging to protect them.
Other medications. Some medicines can make your birth control pill less effective. Most antibiotics are safe to take while youâre on birth control pills, but one — rifampin — can stop the pill from working. Tell your doctor youâre on birth control if he prescribes you rifampin.
Other medicines like mood stabilizers, epilepsy medicines, and HIV drugs can also make the pill less effective. Make sure to discuss these with your doctor.
Certain herbs. The supplement St. Johnâs wort is popular for issues like depression or insomnia, but it can reduce the amount of hormones in the pill. Talk to your doctor if youâre taking this herb and consider using a backup method of birth control while youâre on it.
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What Is A Miscarriage
A miscarriage happens if a pregnancy ends spontaneously before its 20th week. At that point, the fetus isnt developed enough to survive outside the uterus.
If you get pregnant while using an IUD, the device increases the risk of miscarriage. If you want to stay pregnant, its important to remove the IUD early in pregnancy.
Sometimes, an IUD can slip out of place. If that happens, the risk of pregnancy is higher.
To check the placement of your IUD:
Contact your doctor if:
- you cant feel the IUD string
- the IUD string feels longer or shorter than it used to
- you can feel the hard plastic of the IUD coming out of your cervix
Your doctor can use an ultrasound exam to check the internal positioning of your IUD. If it has slipped out of place, they can insert a new IUD.
Not Taking The Pills At The Same Time Each Day
In addition to taking birth control pills daily, a person should take the pills at about the same time each day. Doing so 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 usual window should use a backup birth control method for the next 7 days or avoid having sex.
Many people set a daily alarm reminding them to take their pill at the correct time each day.
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You Have Diarrhea Or Digestive Issues
Because the birth control pill is absorbed through the digestive tract, your body may not properly absorb the hormones in the pill if you have acute or chronic diarrhea. This means that you may not be adequately protected from becoming pregnant.
Certain digestive conditions may also affect your ability to properly absorb the hormones in the pill. For example, some reports indicate that people with Crohns disease have a higher risk of oral contraceptive failure due to the effects of this disease on nutrient absorption.
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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