Pregnancy or conception is associated with an absolute absence of normal monthly menstrual cycle due to a relative increase in the progesterone levels. It is believed that hormonal changes can lead to the thickening of the cervical lining to restrict the passage of blood until the baby is delivered. Amenorrhea or absence of menstrual cycles is a sign of pregnancy which indicates that conception has taken place. For this reason, the most common question asked by most of women is either to continue their birth control pills or not?

Should I Keep Taking the Pill If I Think I'm Pregnant?

“I am not having my periods, I waited for two weeks but there is no sign of it. I think I may be pregnant but it is not confirmed. Is taking birth control pills until the pregnancy is confirmed will be harmful for me?”

Answer: Taking birth control pills while the pregnancy is not confirmed will not harm the fetus, but one should stop taking the pills once the pregnancy is confirmed. In case the female has accidentally taken her pills, then the baby will be fine but it is recommended to consult the physician for correct guidance.

The birth control pills are composed of the hormone progesterone, which is also classified under one of the pregnancy hormones, so taking pills whilst pregnant is just like giving the body extra amount of progesterone, but it must be stopped as soon as the pregnancy gets confirmed in order to avoid hormonal complications.

8 Other QAs About The Pill You Should Know

Except the question "Should i keep taking the pill if i think I'm pregnant", there are other questions that you may want to know the answers.

How Effective Is Birth Control Pills?

As mentioned above, these pills are made up of hormones primarily progesterone alone or combination of estrogen. These hormones not only prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs for the fertilization, but also inhibit the sperm to get fertilized in the fallopian tube.

The success rate of using birth control pills is very high. If used correctly (either combination pill or only progestin pills), the chance of getting pregnant is 1 in 100 while if not used correctly this ratio is as high 8 in 100. Following are some conditions in which these pills becomes less effective.

  • If the female is overweight

  •  Concomitant use of other supplements with pills

  • Chronic vomiting and diarrhea


Will Birth Control Pills Cause Birth Defects If Taken in Early Pregnancy?

Taking birth control pills in early pregnancy doesn't seem to increase the chances of birth defects. Various studies have been performed to study the correlation between the use of birth pills and incidence of birth defects. Although some studies states that the incidence of urinary tract infections and preterm delivery increases when birth control pills are continued after conception, there is no clinical experiences to support that. But the risk of ectopic pregnancy (fertilization in fallopian tube or anywhere outside the uterus) may increase if minipills (progestin-only birth control pills) is taken after conception.

As a precautionary measure, the Mayo Clinic suggests that the birth control pills must be stopped if pregnancy is suspected, as many of the side effects of these pills such as breast tenderness, nausea etc. can confuse the diagnosis of pregnancy.


Is a Negative Pregnant Test Meaning I'm Not Pregnant?

Getting a negative pregnancy test result doesn't always mean that female is not pregnant; some attributes are:

  • The test may have been done too early. If the female think that she has taken the test too early, then wait for a while and do the test again; if results are still negative, then no pregnancy is confirmed.

  • Collection of urine sample that has been retained for longer period of time may alter the test results.

  • The levels of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone) hormone in urine become hard to be detected if a female drinks too much water before conducting the test.

  • Instead of going for home based test, an appointment with the gynecologist must be made for correct results.


How to Do Pregnant Test Correctly

Pregnancy test is done by detecting the presence of HCG which is found in the blood and urine. This hormone will appear in blood and urine after 13-15 days of fertilization. Before this time, it cannot be detected.

  • Blood samples are considered as more sensitive for testing HCG hormone as smaller quantities can be traced through blood, while tracing this HCG through urine is a little difficult. A test conducted at home utilizing pregnancy kit is recommended to be done before going for a general physician.

  • It should be noted that this hormone is utilized for treating fertility disorders so a false positive result can be obtained if a female is receiving any fertility treatment.


If I Missed One or More Pills, What Should I Do?

  • If a single pill is missed, then she can take two pills on the other day as soon as she remember this, this will not cause any harm to the female body.

  • If two pills are missed, an emergency contraception such as condom must be used to avoid pregnancy. Then take two pills that day and two the second day and then continues with the normal schedule. Heavy bleeding is expected in such case.

  • If three consecutive pills are missed, bleeding will happen so a female should consider herself in a period phase in this case. A new pack of pills is then suggested with the use of other contraception back up such as condom (recommended to be used for 7 days). Only relying on the pill to stop pregnancy will not help in this case. An emergency contraception is required if the female had intercourse in that seven-day duration.


Do I Have to Take the Pill from My Inactive Weeks?

Researchers suggested that skipping the pills in inactive period will not cause any problem. They are only added in the regimen to maintain one's habit of taking pills every day. It is recommended that a female should consult to her general physician if her pills contain an extra folate or iron in it.


Must I Take the Pill on the Same Time Every Day?

In case of progestin only pill, the duration must be maintained is 24 hours. Try to take the pill with 24 hour difference, while you are on pill which is made up of estrogen combination, but small time difference does not matter and will not compromise the effectiveness of the pill. Heavy bleeding may be observed if a low dose pill is taken a few hours late.


Why Do I Bleed When I'm on the Period?

Bleeding which comes during pill cycle is not actually the menstrual bleeding; it is the blood which breaks through the cervical lining due to hormonal change. For this reason, no cleaning is done of the uterus lining like that done in a menstrual flow. This bleeding which comes as period during taking pills is often termed as withdrawal bleeding, in which no abdominal cramps like that during periods are observed.


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