The birth control pill has been so much a part of your life for so long. You’ve become accustomed to the daily schedule of taking your pill. But now there is something new for you to get used to–a baby. He will need your attention every day too, except he also poos and coos. It’s a much bigger task and far more rewarding.
Birth control is not 100 percent effective. According to the University of Illinois McKinley Health Center, there is a 1 to 3 percent chance you can conceive while you are on the pill. This chance is increased if you forget to take a pill or otherwise use them incorrectly. If you unexpectedly get pregnant while on the pill, you may not notice within the first few weeks or months, especially if you don’t normally get your monthly period. If you don’t know that you are pregnant, you will probably continue to pop your birth control pills.
The good news is those first few weeks of low-dose pills probably will not harm your fetus. The University of Cincinnati NetWellness says that there have been no side effects of birth control pills on babies. Although there may be anecdotal evidence that says otherwise, the website explains that these results are not standard. Even the emergency contraception pill, the Harvard Medical Center reports, will not harm an already fertilized and implanted fetus.
Many women may continue to take birth control into their first weeks of pregnancy when they are unaware of their pregnancy. When they begin to suspect a pregnancy, through symptoms, a missed period or a positive home test, they should see a doctor immediately. He can give the best personal advice based on the exact type of birth control and the patient. For instance, the University of California San Diego recommends that women who know they are pregnant not take ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone, two kinds of birth control.
When making the decision about whether to continue your birth control in pregnancy, remember that it is a drug just like all the others you take. It affects your body by providing a dose of hormones that your body produces on its own, normally. Keep in mind that everything you consume moves through your baby’s body as well.
The Bottom Line
You can breathe easy. Realize that many women have received surprise positive pregnancy tests and have exposed themselves and their babies to birth control–and have had few problems. Once you know you are pregnant, there is no reason to keep taking them. They cannot “save up” in your system and you shouldn’t take them while breastfeeding.