The birth control pill have the right to be her BFF once it involves enjoying her sex life complimentary from worry. It’s the many popular method of reversible contraception in the joined States, provided by 12.6 percent of women ages 15 to 49.

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While it’s not the best solution because that everyone, many world rely on the pill together their primary kind of birth control and family planning. But it’s no perfect, and also there’s quiet a slight opportunity you might get pregnant on the pill — especially if you miss a dose or two.

Knowledge is power as soon as it pertains to birth control. The more you understand around how the pill works, the much better you’ll it is in at acquisition it properly (and therefore not obtaining pregnant till you actually want to gain pregnant).

Here’s how the science shakes out and also how you can minimize your risk.


Birth control and the 0.01 percent

In an ideal world, the birth regulate pill does its job pretty freaking well. Planned Parenthood approximates that when taken perfectly, the pill is 99 percent effective at staying clear of pregnancy.

It does this by avoiding ovulation, which means an egg no released from your ovary each month to it is in fertilized by sperm.

The birth regulate pill also thickens your cervical mucus, make it less hospitable for sperm to with an egg. It essentially turns your uterus right into a fiercely guarded surveillance zone, unsurvivable to external invaders (which, TBH, sounds badass).

There are two types of birth manage pills: mix pills and progestin-only pills.

Combination pills, the most famous type, contain 2 hormones: estrogen and also progestin. For civilization who can’t take estrogen (likely as result of family background of blood coagulation or migraine), the progestin-only pill, sometimes dubbed the mini pill, is one more option.

Regardless of which form of pill you taking, it’s best to take it at the very same time every day. Make it component of your daily routine can help prevent to let go doses and ensure the the pill is as effective as possible.

If you use a progestin-only pill, it’s crucial to take it in ~ the exact same 3-hour home window every day.

But stop be real: human beings aren’t perfect. Sometimes you forget to choose up her refill pack or you miss out on a pill one day and take 2 the next.

According come Planned Parenthood, the average human being takes the pill in ~ a 91 percent accuracy rate, an interpretation 9 the every 100 people who use the pill will get pregnant.

Those odds no great, which is why it’s super necessary to it is in diligent about taking your pill on schedule.


Skipping a day

It happens to the ideal of us. Also when she on a rigorous schedule of taking your pill each day, you will do it inevitably have times whereby you obtain out of your routine and just forget.

If you miss out on a pill, it’s OK to take 2 the following day to get back on track. If girlfriend miss simply one combination pill, you’re for sure without a back-up contraceptive.

But if you miss one progestin-only pill or more than one consecutive combination pill, use a condom or abstain native sex for the next week.

This is every super confusing, we know. If girlfriend need much more details on what to do once you miss out on a pill, this is a handy guide from Cornell wellness that division it all down.

Taking them at random times each day

For preferably effectiveness, take the pill at the same time every day. This is specifically important through the progestin-only pill, which should be taken in ~ the same 3-hour home window each day.

Rifampin (antibiotic)

Most antibiotics i will not ~ mess v your birth control’s effectiveness, yet Rifampin is an exception. Talk v your physician if you concerned about an antibiotic prescription.

Griseofulvin (antifungal)

Antifungals don’t typically interfere through birth control, however this certain medication is a special case.

St. John’s wort

This herb, which is regularly used come treat depression and symptoms of menopause, can contribute to irregular periods and also breakthrough bleeding when taken through birth regulate pills.

Certain HIV and anti-seizure medications

Before beginning a new prescription of this nature, examine with your medical care provider come make sure it won’t connect with your birth regulate in any type of way.


Take that daily, consisting of the placebo pills

Getting right into a routine is the easiest method to ensure you won’t forget a pill. Even if the last week of her pill fill is placebos (which girlfriend technically nothing need come take), it’s ideal to take it them still to remain on schedule.

Set a reminder

Having a everyday alarm on your phone will help you remember as soon as to pop your pill.

Use multiple techniques of contraception

A barrier method, choose a condom or diaphragm, have the right to be offered alongside the pill as one more line the defense. Condoms are likewise the best means to reduced your threat of contracting STIs.

If you’re in a monogamous relationship and also trust your partner, you can additionally rely ~ above the withdrawal method — but don’t usage this as your just birth control. According to the CDC, it’s just 78 percent efficient on the own.


Here’s some surprising clinical intel for you: There’s evidence that the birth regulate pill have the right to be used to help people obtain pregnant. Prior to you say “Huh?” and start come worry, hear united state out.

A 2008 study uncovered that using birth regulate leading up to in vitro fertilization could actually do it less complicated to develop quickly.

And in a 2000 study, by suppressing ovulation because that months and also then restarting it, part IVF individuals were maybe to develop within simply a couple of menstrual cycles. The existing research study still mostly concerns IVF, not natural conception.

That said, the birth control pill can also mask expression irregularities that may make it complicated to conceive. Some world have irregular periods in the first couple of months after ~ they stop taking bear control.

If your periods were inconsistent before beginning the pill due to polycystic ovary syndrome, stress, load changes, or other causes, they may still be irregular once you ditch the contraceptive.

Before going off birth control, speak to her doctor around any specific concerns friend have.


Been acquisition the pill, but worried the something go wrong and also you can be pregnant?

Early pregnant symptoms include morning sickness, a missed period, breast tenderness, and fatigue. This symptoms can likewise come from other causes, consisting of stress, load changes, or an infection.

To find out because that sure, take an at-home pregnant test. These tests finding elevated hCG, a hormone that will show up in her urine and also blood about the 2-week note after conception.

But don’t rush to quit your birth control the 2nd you suspect you’re pregnant. Yes sir no well-known risk that fetal advance issues from acquisition birth manage at this beforehand stage. If you uncover out you’re in reality pregnant, climate you deserve to stop acquisition your pill.

In the unlikely event that you get pregnant while taking the pill, the pregnancy is slightly more likely to be ectopic if you’re taking a progestin-only pill. An ectopic pregnancy occurs as soon as a fertilized egg attaches somewhere outside the uterus, typically in the fallopian tubes.

Ectopic pregnant is very rare (only 5 in every 1,000 pregnancies) however requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms incorporate those usual of at an early stage pregnancy, and also sharp and also severe ab pain or cramping and also vaginal bleeding.

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All birth control pills eventually protect against ectopic pregnant by considerably decreasing your all at once chances of gaining pregnant.