Can You Get Pregnant on Birth Control?

Can You Get Pregnant on Birth Control?

The oral contraceptive pill is a common method of birth control and very effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies. However, you still need to exercise caution as no birth control method is 100% foolproof. 

Medications That Affect the Efficacy of the Pill

Birth Control
Birth Control – Image via Flickr by nateOne

A lot of women are unaware that certain medication can interfere with the efficacy of the pill. Certain anti-seizure drugs, antiviral drugs to treat HIV, and anti-fungal medication can all interfere with the pill’s efficacy. Some herbal and natural products, like St. John’s wort, black cohosh, soybeans, and flaxseed, should also be avoided. 

Before taking any medication, check with your doctor if they adversely affect the contraceptive pill. If there is a risk, then use a backup contraceptive like a condom. You may need to continue using backup birth control for several days after stopping the medication to ensure the drug is completely out of your system. If you are on long-term chronic medication, then it’s best to choose a different method of contraception.

Forgetting to Take Your Pill

Birth control pills, whether progestin-only or the combined pill, are designed to keep a steady level of hormones coursing through your body. When skipping your daily dose, these hormones can quickly drop, and depending on where you are in your cycle, ovulation can take place. With the progestin-only pill, your window is even smaller — being just three hours late puts you at risk for pregnancy. Forgetting to start a new pack immediately after finishing the previous pack can also influence your hormone levels.

Not Taking the Pill at Same Time Every Day

Consistency is important when using the contraceptive pill. Not only must you take the pill every day but also at the same time every day. If you are a forgetful person, consider switching to a different birth control method like the Nexplanon implant. Implants have become the most popular method of birth control in recent years. They are a tiny device implanted into an area of the body, like your arm. The implant releases hormones that prevent eggs from being released from the ovaries. 

Illness That Causes Vomiting 

An illness that causes vomiting can play a role in an unexpected pregnancy. Vomiting is one way it could have happened. If you vomit soon after taking your contraceptive pill, it’s likely that most of the pill has been expelled before being absorbed into the body. Take another one as soon as possible as a precaution.

Birth control pills have a 99% success rate when taken exactly as prescribed. That rate drops to 91% when not taken properly and consistently. Set a daily reminder if necessary or switch to a different type of contraceptive that doesn’t require an infallible memory.

If you live in a rural area and have to drive long distances to a doctor or pharmacy to renew prescriptions, online clinics like Nurx offer telemedicine services. Telemedicine allows you to order birth control medication online and have it conveniently delivered to your home. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your prescription will arrive on time every month.

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