Pregnant despite the pill? Can this be?
Contraception Pregnant Despite Pill? Can this be?
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The pill is considered to be one of the safest contraceptives. But even it does not protect one hundred percent against pregnancy. Often this is not due to the preparation itself. We have collected the most important reasons why you can get pregnant despite the pill.
The pill is the safest contraceptive in existence and therefore the most popular protection against unwanted pregnancy among women. The micropill has a so-called Pearl Index of 0.1 to 0.9. This means that only 1 to 9 out of 1,000 women who use contraception for a year will get pregnant. The pearl index of the minipill is 0.5 to 3. Up to three out of a hundred women can still become pregnant. For comparison: a condom only offers a safety factor of 2 to 12 on this scale.
It is therefore quite possible that the preparation itself is not reliable. However, this is very unlikely and extremely rare. The vast majority of women rightly feel that they are well protected against unwanted pregnancies.
What are the reasons for being pregnant despite the pill?
So it is unlikely that you are one of the few who will fail the drug itself. Much more often it is due to other causes that a woman becomes pregnant anyway.
- Pregnant after a mistake: The most common cause is an ingestion mistake. If a pill is forgotten in everyday stress or taken too late, the contraception is often no longer effective. However, every pill has a time window. If you still take it within this time, everything will be fine. If you miss it, the protection against pregnancy may no longer be sufficient. How big the time window is differs from preparation to preparation. The time span of the minipill is smaller than that of the micropill. You will find all the information about this in the package insert.
- Are you taking a mini pill and missed taking it? Then you should also use condom contraception for the next 7 days to safely prevent pregnancy. You should take the forgotten tablet quickly afterwards, even if you then have to swallow two at the same time. If you had sex on the days before the ingestion, you may be pregnant because the sperm can survive in your body for a few days. It is best to discuss the situation with your gynecologist.
- Are you taking a micropill and missed it? With this type of hormonal contraception, the week is crucial. The first week of a pack is critical. Became Number 1 to 7 forget, ovulation can occur in the next 7 days. Pregnancy is possible. During this time you should also use contraception. You should still take the missing pill, even if you take two at a time. If you had sex up to five days before the mistake, the morning-after pill may be recommended to prevent pregnancy. Please discuss this with your gynecologist. Became number 8 to 14 forget, the ingestion error is not critical. Take the missing pill later. You don’t need additional contraception. However, if more than one was forgotten in the second week, there is no longer any protection. The third week as well (Numbers 15 to 21) is critical again. If a pill was forgotten here, you could have become pregnant if you had sexual intercourse in the week before. But of course that doesn’t have to be the case. However, to restore future protection there are two options:
1. Swallow the missed tablet, take the rest as normal and start the next pack without a break.
2. Stop the intake, take a break and then start the new pack.
- Pregnant after taking medication despite the pill: The absorption of active ingredients can also be made difficult or even blocked by certain drugs. If the dose is no longer sufficient, you can get pregnant despite taking the birth control pill correctly. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you whether there are any drug interactions. This must also be indicated in the package insert.
There is a high risk of an interaction with the following drugs:
Sleeping pills and sedatives
St. John’s wort preparations (also tea!)
- Due to a chronic illness pregnant despite the pill: A metabolic disorder can also impair the absorption of hormonal agents. This is the case, for example, with Crohn’s disease or cystic fibrosis. If you are one of those affected, it is important to talk to your doctor about the right birth control method.
- Pregnant due to incorrect storage despite the pill: Heat and direct sunlight can reduce the effectiveness of medication. This also applies to the birth control pill. Make sure that you always store the pack in a cool, dry and dark place. You know best which room that is in your apartment. The outer packaging is in itself a good light protection. So it makes sense to always push the blister back into the pack. If it is extremely hot in summer or on vacation, the refrigerator is the best place to keep it.
Does the pill work for smokers?
Smoking does not affect the way the pill works. You are just as protected from pregnancy as a non-smoker. If you consume more than 10 cigarettes a day, the estrogen-containing micropill is still not a suitable contraceptive for you. Because it increases your risk of thrombosis. As a smoker, you should therefore do without the micropill or try to quit smoking or to reduce it significantly. If that’s not an option, your doctor may prescribe the mini pill for you. Although it does not contain estrogen, it is also less safe.
By the way: Grapefruits or their juice in combination with the pill also increase the risk of thrombosis. Because the bitter substance naringin it contains slows down the breakdown of the hormones in the blood and thus the risk of thrombosis formation.
Pregnant despite the pill? These are the first signs
Pregnant is pregnant. If you are pregnant despite using birth control, the signs are the same as if you became pregnant without birth control. Typical signs of pregnancy are as follows:
No bleeding (menstruation)
But: spotting, intermenstrual bleeding or implantation bleeding
· Increased need to urinate
Slight cramping or pulling in the abdomen
Nausea during pregnancy
If you are unsure, the best thing to do is to see your gynecologist or to get a pregnancy test from the pharmacy. An early pregnancy test can show you pregnancy as early as the 10th day after ovulation.
By the way: Missing your period doesn’t have to be a sign of pregnancy. Particularly with the estrogen-free mini pill, it can happen that the bleeding stops or shifts.
Did i harm the baby?
If you are expecting a baby despite using hormonal birth control, you may be concerned about whether the use of the contraceptive could have harmed the child. That is easy to understand, but the good news is: So far, no connection has been found between malformations and the use of birth control pills in early pregnancy. When it is clear that you are expecting a child, you should discontinue the drug, as with all non-essential drugs.
A little digression: Correct pill intake
- When you first take it, you take the first pill on the first day of your period.
- Read the leaflet carefully beforehand. Each preparation has its own intake pattern.
- Always take them regularly and at the same time of day. Then you won’t forget them so easily.
- Set up a reminder on your mobile phone in case you forget to take it more often.
- Always swallow the pill with plenty of water.
- Don’t take them on an empty stomach.
- Pay attention to the time change when traveling by air.
Pregnant despite the morning-after pill?
After a breakdown in contraception, the so-called “morning-after pill” can prevent an unwanted pregnancy after sex. The preparation delays ovulation by around five days. However, the period of contraception can coincide with ovulation. Then you can get pregnant despite the morning-after pill. The emergency medication does not offer 100% security. Incidentally, you can get the morning-after pill today in pharmacies without a prescription. If you have a prescription for the morning-after pill, it is free for minors.
Discover more articles in our categories Baby & Family ou encore Maternity.
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