Can you get pregnant on the pill? How effective is it? Birth control pills are one of the most commonly used contraception methods in the globe. Why? Because when used properly, they can stop unwanted pregnancies 99% of the time. In this article, you are going to learn what the pill is and how effective it is. Towards the end, we will answer the most important question: Can you get pregnant on the pill?
What is the pill?
Hormonal contraceptives - or more commonly known as “the pill” - are used by women around the globe to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Taken orally, the pill is considered to be one of the most effective methods of contraception --- stopping 99.9% of pregnancies if used as directed. Generally safe, you can use the pill multiple times.
There are two types of pills, the combination pill and the mini pill. Let’s talk about each type briefly below:
These pills contain two hormones, estrogen and progestin --- hence the name. These hormones are man-made and they are usually taken in 21-day courses (mimicking a menstrual cycle). Some pills come in 28-day courses where the remaining 7 pills don’t contain any active hormones. It’s designed this way to help you keep the habit of taking one pill a day.
Combined pills work by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg. They also help prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus lining on the entrance of the womb to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Some combined pills work by thinning the lining of your uterus to prevent the fertilised egg from implanting itself.
Unlike combined pills, mini pills contain only one hormone --- progestin. These pills are perfect for those who experience side effects when using combined pills. Mini pills are usually prescribed to women who are breastfeeding.
One mini-pill is taken every day. The pill prevents pregnancy by thickening the mucus in your cervix, making it hard for the sperm to pass through and enter the uterus. The hormone in the pill also thins the lining of the uterus so the fertilized egg is less likely to implant itself and grow.
In terms of effectiveness, mini pills are 95% to 99% effective in stopping unwanted pregnancies if used correctly.
Can you get pregnant on the pill?
Short answer? Yes. Although doctors consider the pill as one of the best contraceptive methods, it’s still not guaranteed to work 100% of the time. Why? Human error. Below are some of the things that can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.
Missing a dose
Manufacturers and health experts stress that the pill is most effective if taken daily. If you miss a dose, your hormone levels may not be consistent enough to prevent pregnancy. We understand that some people find it hard to keep the habit of taking one pill a day. If you are one of them, consider different methods of contraception that don’t require sticking into a habit.
Not taking your pill at the same time every day
Aside from taking your pill daily, you also need to take it at precisely the same time so your hormone levels remain consistent. For example, if you are taking a mini pill, there’s only a 3-hour time window each day that you should take the pill. If you miss this window, you need to abstain from sex or use emergency contraception if you’ve had unprotected sex. To help you take the pill at precisely the same time, consider setting an alarm.
There are days that we don’t feel good. If you feel nauseous and vomited after taking the pill, take another dose as quickly as possible. Why? Because there’s a good chance that your body has not fully absorbed the pill yet when you vomited.
Taking other medicines that react with the pill
Medicines like antibiotics, epilepsy, antiviral and antifungal drugs can make the pill less effective. If you’ve had unprotected sex while taking any of these medicines, consider using emergency contraception to lower your risks of pregnancy. You can also use other forms of contraceptives like the condom when under any of these medications.
Not starting a new pack on time
Doctors recommend starting a new pack right away after finishing your previous course to keep your hormone levels as consistent as possible. However, not everyone has access to a new pack of pills right away. If you’ve missed two or more pills, avoid sex as much as possible until you’ve taken your pills for a week. If you can’t help it, consider using backup contraceptive methods.
How to NOT get pregnant on the pill
We want you to enjoy your sex life as much as possible without worrying about unwanted pregnancy. To help you maximize the effectiveness of the pill, consider these tips:
- Always read the instructions included in your packet carefully
- Always take the pill at precisely the same time each day. Set an alarm to help you remember.
- Always have a new pack on hand at least a week before your pack runs out. Consider making it a habit to buy two packs of contraceptive pills every time.
- If you missed a dose, take the missed pill as quickly as possible.
- If you missed your pill for two or more times, use a backup contraceptive method like a condom to lower your risks of getting pregnant.
You can buy the pill online and get it delivered to your doorstep from Express Pharmacy.