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Will I get pregnant while on the pill?

Woman fingers crossed
By Shalini Samravat

Can I get pregnant when I am taking a birth control pill?

That’s one of the main questions Indian women ask their doctor or gynaecologist.  The answer is yes. No birth control method is fool-proof. Having sex while on the pill can lead to pregnancy, though the chances are very low. In fact, most contraceptive pills are effective about 99.5 percent of the time. Which means, only 1 in 200 instances of intercourse can lead to conception.

These statistics also mean that a woman can get pregnant even when she has followed all the instructions given by the pill-maker.

However, if you don’t follow the instructions closely, there are higher chances of you getting pregnant. This increases your chances of getting pregnant by up to 5 percent. In other words, 5 in 100 instances of sex can result in pregnancy. However, many studies show a varying degree of failure rate.

The bottom line is that you can pregnant while on the pill, and it may not be entirely your fault. Your husband, family or friends might think that you did not take the pills properly. However this is not the case.

What are the common mistakes?

Forgetting to take the pill is one of the surest way of getting pregnant on birth control. It is one of the worst side effects of the birth control pills.

This is particularly possible in the first few days of the cycle.

The second common reason is that the pill never stays in your stomach. You might be experiencing diarrhoea and the pill is thrown out of your body.

In such an instance, please check the instructions on the pill. You may want to opt for some other means of contraception in the meantime.

The third possibility is other medication. If you are taking other medication, it might affect your birth control and may get you pregnant.

Many Indian girls use birth control to stop period pain or migraines. This is not the best possible way to deal with period pain.  Consult your doctor in such instances.

How to find out if I am pregnant

There are many ways to know if you are pregnant. However, the most common way is when you miss a period. That’s the first sign.

You might also experience symptoms of pregnancy, such as vomiting, camping and soreness in breasts.

There are plenty of home tests options available. Ask your chemist or pharmacist.

Editor’s note: This article is for information only, and should not be used as medical advice. Please consult your doctor

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Anastacia
    June 10, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    I had my periods and one day after i had an intercourse. The very day in the mornining i had started on the normal pills. One hour before the act i took 1 pc of ECP and the 12 hrs later i took the other. the following day i took the normal pill till now. It seems i have missed my periods since the last one which ended on 7th May. Could i be pregnant?

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