The contraceptive pill is regarded as one of the most effective measures of birth control. It is also sometimes known as “the pill”. Only 0.1% of the users face unintended pregnancy. But considering the number of people use birth control pills that tiny percentage actually caters to a huge number of women in the population. Trussell (2004) marvelously points out to the factors which ensure failure of the birth control pills in The United States.
So, even though birth control pills are mostly pretty safe, there are few slips here and there. These slips can turn out to be fatal. Learn what causes them and how you can prevent any disaster.
Is There Chance of Getting Pregnant When You are on Birth Control?
Success Rate of Birth Control:
Firstly, let us all remind each other that nothing can give 100% assurance. Statistics suggest that you can get up to 99% surety with perfect use of birth control pills. Now what is perfect usage?
Perfect usage indicates that you are taking the pill every day, on the prescribed time, without missing a single dosage. Anything apart from that increases the risk of getting pregnant. But unfortunately, most women do not use birth control perfectly, which decreases the assurance level to 91%.
That leaves a 9% chance of getting pregnant. The percentage is pretty high considering the number of time an urban American woman uses the contraceptives. Many women forget to take the pills on time. This happens more when the time to open the new pack of pills arrives.
Why do birth control pills fail?
- Lifestyle and behavior of the individual often determines the success of the birth control pills. The birth control pills are designed in a way to maintain a certain level of hormones in your body. These hormones prevent you from getting pregnant.
- If you miss a dosage or two, your bodily hormones will drop and the chances of you getting pregnant increase. Now depending on your cycle, it might also trigger ovulation and probable pregnancy.
- Consumption of alcohol also increases the chances of pregnancy. Alcohol tends to decrease the level of pregnancy preventing hormones making you vulnerable to an unexpected pregnancy.
- A study conducted by Winner & Buckle (2012) reveals that the impact of oral contraception diminishes with the intake of alcohol and other drugs. If you are having other medication for your heart or your nerves, then also the success of the contraception will remain doubtful.
Ways to Prevent Birth Control Failure:
It is important to understand that birth control pills are designed to be effective. So, in order to make full use of it, you must follow some basic rules and ensure that you do not get pregnant.
Time it Perfectly:
- Have the birth control pills on the same time, every day. If possible set an alarm on your mobile phone or your watch. No matter how important client meeting you have or seminar you attend, do not even think of skipping the dosage.
- Timing is everything. It will keep the hormone levels intact. Missing the pill might trigger a serious drop in the hormone level. If you somehow miss the dosage then avoid having unprotected sex for at least two weeks.
Read more: 31 Natural Ways to Avoid Pregnancy at Home
Also take the placebo pills:
Taking the placebo pills is not a mandate. However, to mitigate any risk of getting unwanted pregnancy, you must make sure you also take them along with your regular contraceptive pills.
If you choose to skip the placebo pills then there are greater chances that you might delay opening the next pill pack. That will eventually lower the hormone level and make you vulnerable to pregnancy. Maintaining the desired level of pregnancy preventing hormone is necessary. Otherwise you might start ovulating. Ovulation might lead to pregnancy.
Read more: 11 Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation
Do not Mix Medication:
If you are under some constant medication, then do consult with your doctor before deciding on to take birth control pills. Birth control pills trigger the secretion of certain hormones in your body.
However, it might react adversely with some over-the-counter medications. Research conducted by Rosenberg & Waugh (1998) reveals that some anti-biotic also adversely affect the reaction of the contraceptive pills. So, when you are under birth control, then you cannot just pop-in any pill you desire. You need to be cautious and you need to consult your physician.
Do not use St. John’s wort:
St John’s wort is a popular American over-the-counter herbal medication which is known to trigger liver function. However, it might adversely impact your contraceptive medication. The result might be something fatal. You can experience breakthrough and bleeding.
It might also result in an unexpected pregnancy, in case you are having these two medications together. Talk to your doctor about the consequences, in case you have to take these two medicines together. Your doctor might suggest some alternative or back-up options to combat the negative impact.
Read more: Remedies fro Bleeding During Pregnancy
How to be sure?
While you are under contraceptives you should also check for the signs of pregnancy. If you sense any of the below mentioned symptoms, then check for pregnancy, on an immediate basis. Earlier the detection the better it is for you.
- Tender or swollen breasts.
- Cravings for certain unusual foods which you do not usually like
- Turned off my smell of certain food which you were okay with before
- You feel fatigued all the time more than usual.
- Morning sickness is an obvious sign
- You feel nauseous throughout the day
- Though missing a period is an obvious sign, but many women under birth control pills do tend to miss periods. In such cases it is difficult to tell. Moreover, implantation bleeding, bleeding which happens when the fertilized eggs get attached to the uterus, can be mistaken as period. This might lead to greater danger, in the future. So, if you have missed periods and you are under contraception, then it is better that you get it checked with your doctor.
Read more: Early Signs of Pregnancy
If any of the following signs are visible then you must get the pregnancy test. If the pregnancy test is positive, then you should talk to your partner and your doctor to decide on the future steps.
No birth control measure is hundred percent safe. Birth control pills are definitely effective measures of restricting pregnancy. But at the same time one should remember that there are other safer forms of contraception. These alternatives include condoms, diaphragm, vaginal ring and injections. It is always advisable to consult doctors whilst taking the decision of being on contraceptive pills, on a regular basis. Moreover, birth control pills have various side-effects. The common birth control pill side effects include inter-menstrual spotting, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, weight gain, mood changes, missed periods, decreased libido, vaginal discharge, visual changes with contact lenses among many others. So, if you have an ongoing medical condition then it is better to avoid birth control pills.
Read more: 21 Common Birth Control Pill Side Effects