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Can You Get Pregnant While On Birth Control Pills?

Birth control pills are considered a safe and effective method to prevent pregnancy. They are about 99% effective when you take them the right way, and if you don't, the chances of getting pregnant goes up to 9%. This article will talk about whether you can get pregnant while on birth control pills.

Birth control pills are of two types: combined pills and mini pills. Combined pills contain two hormones, oestrogen and progestin and mini pills contain only the progestin hormone [1], [2]. Both these oral contraceptive pills have a failure rate of 9%.

A study has shown that oral contraceptive pills not only prevent pregnancy but also lowers the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer and protects against acute pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancies [3].

Despite the pills being effective, missing your daily dose increases the chances of getting pregnant. There are other causes behind the failure of birth control pills which might increase the chances of pregnancy. Let's read on.

Causes Of Getting Pregnant On Birth Control Pills


1. Irregular timing

If you aren't taking your pills at the same time every day, it elevates the risk of getting pregnant. This means you have to have your birth control pills at the exact same time daily for it to be effective. Oral contraceptive pills are designed to maintain the level of hormones in the body, so if you skip a dose it causes a drop in hormone levels [4].


2. Track your menstrual cycle

You should take your pills depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, For example, if your periods just got over and you take the pill then it will stop ovulation, and if you are in the middle of your periods and you start taking the pill, you are at a risk of getting pregnant. In this case, you should use a backup contraceptive method like a condom for at least seven days [5].


3. Improper storage

Birth control pills should be stored in a cool, dry place as extreme heat can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive. Contraceptive pills should be stored at a room temperature of 25 degree Celsius [6].


4. Diarrhoea and vomiting

If you have been suffering from diarrhoea and constant vomiting and you take the contraceptive pills within two hours of falling sick, it will not get absorbed by the body. Diarrhoea interferes with the absorption and lowers the effectiveness of birth control pills [7].


5. Intake of other herbal medications

If you consume St. John's Wort supplement and birth control pills at the same time, it may reduce the pill's effectiveness. Consult a doctor if you are taking this herb and use a backup contraceptive method to avoid pregnancy [8].

Other medications can also affect the efficacy of birth control pills, these include epilepsy medicines, HIV medicines, mood stabilizers and rifampin, an antibiotic medicine.


6. Increased alcohol consumption

Drinking alcohol excessively can also interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills; and also, under the influence of alcohol, women might miss their daily dose. This can lead to a drop in hormone levels and increase the risk of pregnancy [9].


7. Detox teas and laxatives

Detox teas and laxatives flush out the toxins and water from the body. So, if you are on laxatives or drinking detox tea, it can affect the effectiveness of birth control pills. The body is unable to absorb the pill and this will lower its protection towards pregnancy.

To Conclude...

If you are opting for birth control pills, speak to your doctor before taking it as he or she will guide you as to how to take it and which type of pill is right for you.

Story first published: Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 21:00 [IST]