- Pill Failure
How likely is it to get pregnant while on the pill?
None of the methods used for birth control are 100% effective. There is a possibility, although rare, of getting pregnant while on birth control pills. Birth control pills are over 99% effective when taken correctly and regularly as prescribed.
What causes the failure of birth control pills?
How would you know if you were pregnant while taking the pill?
If a woman on birth control pills gets pregnant, she may notice the following symptoms:
- Missed periods
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Aversions to certain foods and smells
- Appetite changes
- Bloating or water retention
- Breast pain or tenderness
- Change in breast size or appearance
- Increased urine frequency
- Mood swings
- Occasional spotting or bleeding
If you experience any of these symptoms, get a pregnancy test done at home or in a clinic/lab.
Are birth control pills more effective than condoms?
How long does it take for birth control pills to work?
The time it takes birth control pills to work depends on when you start taking them and what type of pills you use. You may begin taking the birth control pill any day of the month. It is; however, advisable to use a backup birth control method, such as condoms, for about a week once you start taking the pills.
Combination oral contraceptive pills (COCs)
- When started within five days after the first day of your period, the combined pill will protect you from pregnancy right away.
- If you get your periods on a Monday morning and you start taking the combined pills any time before Saturday morning, you will be instantly protected from a possible pregnancy.
- If the pills are started at any other time, it is best to use an additional method of birth control, like a condom, for the first week after you start taking the combined pills.
Progestin-only pills (Mini pills)
- Progestin-only pills, POPs or mini pills can be started any day of the month. They will protect you from pregnancy after 48 hours (two days) of taking the first pill.
- In this case, you must use another method of birth control (like a condom) to prevent pregnancy during the first two days.
You must always discuss with your nurse or doctor about which birth control pill option would be best for you.
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Barrier Methods of Birth Control Side Effects, Advantages, and Disadvantages
Many barrier methods of birth control are available for a man or woman, for example, the sponge, female and male condoms, diaphram, spermicides, male condoms, female condoms, contraceptive sponge, diaphragm, and cervical cap. Side effects, and efficacy (in preventing pregnancy) depends on the type of birth control used.
Birth Control OptionsBirth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms), hormonal methods (pill, patch), surgical sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy), natural methods, and the morning after pill. Side effects and risks of each birth control option should be reviewed prior to using any birth control method.
Birth Control Pill vs. Depo-Provera ShotBirth control pills (oral contraceptives) and the Depo-Provera shot are two hormonal methods of birth control. Both methods work by changing the hormone levels in your body, which prevents pregnancy, or conception. Differences between "the pill" and "the shot." Birth control pills are available as combination pills, which contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, or mini-pills that only contain progestin. In comparison to the Depo-Provera injection, which prevents pregnancy for three consecutive months. Both methods of birth control are very effective in preventing pregnancy. Both the combination pill (if you take them as directed) and shot are up to 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. While the mini-pill is only about 95% effective in preventing pregnancy. Both methods cause weight gain, and have other similar side effects like breast pain, soreness or tenderness, headaches, and mood changes. They may lead to decreased interest in sex in some women. There are differences between the other side effects of these methods (depending upon the method) that include breakthrough bleeding or spotting, acne, depression, fatigue, and weakness. Both oral contraceptives and the Depo-Provera shot have health risks associated with them, such as, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and cervical cancer. Birth control pills appear to increase the risk of cervical cancer. Talk with your OB/GYN or other doctor or health care professional about which birth control method is right for you.
Think You Know Birth Control QuizWhat is the best form of birth control? Take this quiz to find out about hormonal, surgical, barrier, and natural methods!
How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test After a Missed Period?You may take a pregnancy test as soon as you miss a period or if your period is late. You would know the date of your missed period if your periods are regular. If your periods are irregular, or you do not have periods for some reason, you can do a pregnancy test at least three weeks after having sexual intercourse.
When Can You Find Out How Many Weeks Pregnant You Are?A woman can find out how many weeks pregnant she is at any time during pregnancy. There are several ways to calculate how many weeks pregnant a woman is and the estimated due date or estimated date of delivery (EDD). Some ways are more accurate than others.
Does the Pill Stop Your Period?Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) or birth control pills or the pill is a hormonal pill that is used to prevent pregnancy. Because the pills alter your hormone levels, it is possible to temporarily stop or prevent your period with continuous use of any birth control pill.
DVT and Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that has traveled deep into the veins of the arm, pelvis, or lower extremities. Oral contraceptives or birth control pills can slightly increase a woman's risk for developing blood clots, including DVT. DVT symptoms and signs in the leg include leg or calf pain, redness, swelling, warmth, or leg cramps, and skin discoloration. If a blood clot in the leg is not treated, it can travel to the lungs, which can cause a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) or post-thrombotic syndrome, both of which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Increased risk factors for DVT and birth control pills include over 40 years of age, family history, smoking, and obesity. Other medical problems that increase the risks of blood clots, for example, lung or heart disease, or inflammatory bowel disease or IBD (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Other options for preventing pregnancy include IUDs, birth control shots, condoms, diaphragms, and progestin-only oral contraceptives.
Is It OK To Skip the 7-Day Break on the Pill?There seems to be no additional risks associated with using the pill to suppress the seven-day break (beyond the health risks already linked to hormonal pills or devices).
Why Did I Miss My Period on Birth Control?Missed periods on birth control are a common issue that affects many women. Learn why you missed your period on birth control, how your doctor will diagnose why, and how you can treat your missed period.