Since the beginning of the birth control movement in the 1960’s the birth control pill has helped thousands of women gain some control over their bodies and fertility. When used correctly it provides 99.9% protection from unplanned pregnancy. Given this number, while it is possible, the odds aren’t good for getting pregnant while on the pill. If an unplanned pregnancy does occur, it is usually through human error rather than a pharmaceutical one.
In order to understand why it is so difficult to be in a circumstance of getting pregnant while on the pill, a quick lesson in the contraceptive may be necessary. Birth control pills are a combination of hormones containing estrogen and progesterone that is taken once a day. The hormones in the pill work to inhibit ovulation from taking place. Without ovulating a woman can’t become pregnant. With this knowledge it is easy to see why the odds wouldn’t be good for pregnancy when the pill is taken consistently and at the same time everyday.
As previously stated the birth control pill is 99.9% effective when used correctly. It make that .01% clearer to understand, 2 in 100 women who are using the birth control pill for contraception get pregnant even with correct use. Missing a day or even taking pills at different times of the day can result in getting pregnant while on the pill. That is why doctors and other health care professionals tend to provide such explicit directions for its use.
There are several factors that can affect the potency of the birth control pill. Certain medications like antibiotics and some anti seizure medications can affect the effectiveness of the pill. Some herbal supplements are damaging to the pill’s ability to do its job too. St. John’s Wort is one in particular that is a potential risk. The use of any of these products without a backup precaution could result in getting pregnant while on the pill.
Women are told all the time about the health risks to a developing child by any medications they may be taking. If someone does end up getting pregnant while on the pill, there is little cause for concern about the pill adversely affecting the fetus. Most women will learn of their condition before any damage is done. There has been no evidence found that leads to a negative conclusion in these cases. Of course, once the pregnancy is detected it is important to stop using the pill. After all, at that point, it’s kind of useless anyway.
It is possible, but unlikely to become pregnant while using the pill. Following the directions carefully and taking the pill at the same time everyday are the best methods to use to have the control many women want in deciding when the right time is to have a baby.