Is It Possible To Get Pregnant While On Birth Control Pills?

Very simply, it is technically possible to get pregnant while on birth control pills. Assuming that you take all of your birth control pills in the exact manner as they are prescribed, there is only a 1 in 1000 chance that you would become pregnant. This works out to a 0.1% chance of pregnancy. However, if you miss one or more of your birth control pills during the month, or if you take one late, you are more likely to become pregnant; your chances of becoming pregnant if you don’t follow the directions exactly rise to around 5%, or 1 in 20.

Many women who do not wish to become pregnant may use a combination of birth control methods. Because the birth control pill offers no protection whatsoever from STDs, many women choose to use some sort of barrier method, such as the male or female condom, the sponge, or the diaphragm along with their birth control pills. Put together, multiple methods of birth control make pregnancy much less likely.

Once concern that many women have regarding birth control pills is the risk that the pill might present to their baby if they do happen to become pregnant. Modern birth control pills are not though to contribute significantly to birth defects. In the past, however, birth control pills were produced with much higher levels of hormones, and there were concerns that those high levels of hormones could cause defects or problems with the genitals or reproductive organs of the babies, although studies of this were ultimately somewhat contradictory. Still, if you have become pregnant while on birth control pills, you should stop taking them immediately and discuss this with your health care provider.

Another concern that some women have in terms of birth control pills is the effect that they might have on a pregnancy test. To understand why this is not the case, it is important to understand how both birth control pills and pregnancy tests work. Birth control pills are compromised of estrogen and progesterone; these are the hormones that, among other things, help a woman’s body to ovulate. Pregnancy tests measure human chorionic gonadotrophin, or hCG. HCG is not contained in or elevated by taking birth control pills.


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