Women's Healthcare Topics

Conception While Using the Birth Control Pill

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

The birth control pill is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy, and it is used by millions of women annually. The hormones in the birth control pill prevent ovulation, and it thickens your cervical mucus to block sperm from entering the cervix, and thins your uterus lining so that a fertilized egg cannot attach to it. The combination of these events makes it unlikely that you will become pregnant on the pill.

If you are on the pill, you have less than a 1 in 100 chance off getting pregnant. However, about 8 percent of typical users do become pregnant. This may be due to a missed pill or the pill not being absorbed in your system, due to vomiting or interactions with other medications you may be on.

Failing to take your birth control pill on a regular basis can lead to unexpected pregnancy. In the case of a missed pill, you should have a backup method of birth control, such as condoms and spermicides.

Did you know you can get pregnant on the birth control pill?

Some studies have suggested that being overweight can increase your risk of getting pregnant while on the pill, while other studies have found a weak correlation. Because of this, researchers cannot come to a consensus on whether your body weight affects the pill's effectiveness.

If you end up getting pregnant on the pill, but are unaware of the pregnancy for a while, don't worry. Inadvertent pill taking during early pregnancy has not been linked to any birth defects.

Getting pregnant while on the contraceptive pill does happen, so if you want to completely avoid pregnancy, you'll want to use multiple combinations of birth control.


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