Many women do not think that it is possible for them to get pregnant if they are on the birth control pill. There may come a point in time, however, when they experience a pregnancy scare. They may experience early pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, fatigue, headaches and breast tenderness or their menstrual period may not arrive on time. Is it possible for women to become pregnant while taking the birth control pill though? Here’s what any woman using this method of contraception should know about its effectiveness.
How Effective is the Birth Control Pill?
According to Planned Parenthood, less than one out of every 100 women will become pregnant if they take the pill as directed, while eight out of every 100 women will become pregnant if they do not take it every day as directed. For women who take their pill as directed, the birth control pill is 99% effective. For women who do not take their pill as directed, the birth control pill is only 92% effective. Keep in mind that both of these percentages are high so most women who do experience a pregnancy scare are most likely not pregnant.
Can You Prevent Pregnancy on the Pill?
To ensure that the birth control pill works most effectively for you, it is important to take it at the same time every day. This is especially important for women who are using Progestin-only pills, which require you to maintain the same level of this hormone daily to prevent pregnancy. Women who are taking combination pills are also recommended to take the pill at the same time each day, however. It is ideal to set a daily phone alarm to remind yourself when it is time to take your birth control pill.
When Should You Use Backup Birth Control?
Note that there are times when it is ideal for you to use a backup method of birth control pill to prevent pregnancy. Keep in mind that it takes one month before the pill is entirely effective. This also applies to when you switch to a different birth control pill. Antibiotics, yeast infection medications, HIV medicines, anti-seizure medicines and St. John’s wart can cause the pill to be less effective, according to Planned Parenthood. Vomiting and diarrhea can also prevent the pill from working effectively. The birth control pill may not work quite as effectively for women who are overweight.
The birth control pill can be a very effective method of preventing pregnancy. That said, there are times when pregnancy may occur. This generally happens if women do not take their birth control pill effectively or if they are in a situation when backup birth control is recommended. While most pregnancy scares on the pill will turn out to be false, there is a small chance that you can conceive while on the pill.
Planned Parenthood, “Birth Control Pill.”