No method of birth control is 100 percent effective, so there may be a chance that you’re pregnant even though you’ve been using a birth control method. As you get ready to take a pregnancy test, you may wonder whether the hormones in your birth control can affect the results of your pregnancy test.
There are three main types of birth control–barrier methods, hormonal methods and fertility awareness. The barrier methods and fertility awareness don’t change the hormonal composition in your body, but hormonal methods, like the pill or the birth control patch, use progesterone and estrogen to simulate pregnancy. If your body thinks that it’s already pregnant, you won’t ovulate.
Barrier methods and fertility awareness have anywhere from a 50 to 99 percent effective rate, which means that there is a relatively good chance of you getting pregnant when you don’t want to. Hormonal methods are often 99 percent effective or more, when used correctly. However, when actually using these method, you may miss a pill or forget the appointment for your shot, which decreases the effectiveness.
How Pregnancy Tests Work
Pregnancy tests measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG in your urine. This is a hormone that you only find in pregnant women. Progesterone and estrogen are higher in pregnant women, but these hormones are present in all women, so they are not effective for testing pregnancy. If you are indeed pregnant, the hCG hormone will be present, and you’ll get a positive pregnancy test result.
Some may worry that because hormonal birth control methods simulate pregnancy, you could get a false positive when taking a pregnancy test. This is not the case. You will only get a positive pregnancy test result if you are pregnant. Additionally, some methods of hormonal birth control cause you not to get a period, which can mean that you don’t know that you are pregnant. It’s smart to occasionally take a test to be on the safe side.
Because pregnancy tests measure the hCG in your urine, your birth control method has no effect on the effectiveness of your pregnancy test.
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