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Pregnancy & the Contraceptive Pill

Oral contraception is most often used to prevent pregnancy. Like all forms of birth control it is important to remember that even though it is a generally safe and effective way to inhibit pregnancy, women must be educated on the importance of using it consistently and how its use can affect pregnancy.

Contraceptive Pill


Preventing Pregnancy

The oral contraception pill is a powerful choice in forestalling pregnancy. However, the pill is not fool proof nor does it offer 100-percent protection from impregnation. The pill is most valuable when used daily, as prescribed, at the same time every day. Because the contraceptive pill uses hormones to suppress ovulation, when a woman has missed any pills, this birth control method is no longer as effective.


Discontinuing Use to Get Pregnant

When a woman chooses to suspend use of oral contraceptives to get pregnant, it is suggested that she wait 4 to 6 weeks before trying to conceive. Though a woman’s body may ovulate in the first two weeks after discontinuing use of the pill, it is possible that ovulation may not resume until after the next menstrual cycle. It was once thought that it was unsafe to conceive so soon after going off the birth control pill, but evidence has proven otherwise.


Getting Pregnant While on the Pill

Some women who use the pill as directed may still end up conceiving without their knowledge. When used properly, the birth control pill is 99 percent effective. This does leave open a small window of opportunity of pregnancy. Women who are taking the pill and believe they may be pregnant should see their doctor to help determine if they are in fact carrying a child and do an ultrasound to determine the fetal gestation.


Taking Birth Control Pills While Pregnant

Women who are taking oral contraception and are unaware of their pregnancy may end up taking birth control pills while pregnant. Though the exposure is not recommended, the majority of evidence does not support the concern that the hormones will cause birth defects. Once you have found out about your pregnancy it is highly recommended that you discontinue the use of the pill immediately.


Pregnancy Test While on the Pill

Your chances of getting a false reading from taking a pregnancy test while on oral contraception is no greater than for a women who is not. The hormones in the pill do not affect the HCG hormone level that is used to determine pregnancy.


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