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I Became Pregnant While Taking Birth Control Pills

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I was familiar with taking “the Pill.” I currently had been taking it over a year. My husband and I already had two little boys ages 4 and 2 ½. It wasn’t difficult for me to remember to take it each day. It was a part of my morning routine.

One month, as I was still consistently taking my pill, I began to experience some cramping. I believe it continued for a few days. If I remember correctly, I was on my third week of my pill pack, which was still a full week away from the week of my period and the “green pills.” The cramping was a similar feeling to when I would start my period or the first days leading up to it. But it was strange to me that it was happening earlier than it should. I started feeling like something was wrong with my body. I remember feeling slight nausea at times (almost like carsickness) and decided that something about the pill that I was taking was not working right with my body. I was also very tired, but I was always tired. I was a busy Mom with two active boys.

The green pill week arrived, but my period didn’t. Still, pregnancy didn’t occur to me. I had been taking my pill for so long that my periods were very light, almost non-existent. I had an annual doctor’s appointment scheduled with my OB three days after I finished the pill pack that I was on. I decided that I would not start another pack until I saw my doctor.

So three days later, during my annual appointment, I requested new pills. As I told my doctor about my symptoms, he looked puzzled stating that “those are not common complaints associated with taking this pill.” He gave me some new pill samples and told me to start them after my next cycle. But he told me that if I didn’t get my period soon, then I should take a pregnancy test. Staring at my blank face, he reminded me that the pill is effective when taken correctly, but not 100% effective.

A week later when I was still late, I took a pregnancy test. The result was negative but I knew that something was different with my body. One more week passed and this pregnancy test confirmed it, POSITIVE. Now I had something new to worry about. I had taken birth control pills without knowing that I was pregnant.
It is recommended that you STOP taking the birth control pill as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. If you have discovered that you are pregnant and have been taking the pill, consult your doctor.

I traced my weeks backwards and found the day that our new baby was conceived. I believed that I was very diligent about taking my pill. Why did it fail me this month when it had always been reliable before?

When taken correctly, the birth control pill is 99.9% effective. There are factors that will bring this percentage rate down. If you miss days, if you are taking antibiotics that decrease the effectiveness, or even not taking the pill at the same time each day. If this is your form of birth control, then you must follow the steps in taking it correctly.

I have no way of knowing why the pill failed me. It seems only likely that somehow I made an error in taking it. However, my husband and I believe that against all odds (including, birth control) our baby boy’s existence was truly meant to be. We couldn’t be happier.

Add a Comment47 Comments

(reply to Anonymous)

Hi anon,

Unfortunately, many people don't know that antibiotics due inhibit the effects of birth control. While, you have a chance of being pregnant-- I would stop taking the pills (and no unprotected sex either) until your next period. Good Luck!

August 10, 2009 - 6:00am
EmpowHER Guest

After 8 1/2 years of marriage and one 2 year old daughter, my husband and I hit a rough patch and things were not good between us. For 6 months (which I wasn't taking any birth control) we were separated and not having sexual intimacy. But then we decided to give therapy a shot and try really hard to get our marriage on track and it's working wonders!! Needless to say we are back again working hard in our marriage...so I decided to go back on the pill, because even though at one point we wanted one more child, this was NOT the time. I started the pill on 7/20/09, and on the 21st my husband and I became intimate (after 6 months of nothing) it was wonderful and a sign that we were healing in every way... : - )
I've continued taking the pill, but this week has been aweful, I have felt extremelly tired, my breast feel heavier than normal, I've been feeling little nauseas, and today I threw up my lunch !! I thought about pregnancy, so I went to my calender to calculate. (my periods are very regular)...It seems I was ovulating between the 19th & the 20th...yyiiiaakkkeess.
What do I do now? Should I continue faithfully taking the pill and pretend nothing is happening?? Because is too early to know, with a test, if I'm pregnant or not or do I stop the pill and take the risk to see if I get my period any moment? HELP!

July 30, 2009 - 10:50am
(reply to Anonymous)

Have you called your doctor? When I started new birth control pills, my doctor told me that they would not be in full effect for a month and that another form of birth control should be used. But I don't know about all the different pills that are available and if the same is true. Are you saying that you started the pill and had sex the next day? I would call your OB and see what they recommend. Best of luck!

July 30, 2009 - 11:42am

I friend of mine fell pregnant with her fourth child with an IUD. Her obstetrician had only come across that one other time. I don't think it happens often. It was also stressful for her having the IUD removed without harming the foetus. She now has 4 children which she believes is too much to cope with at times. She sees her fourth now as a gift, but also admits it is an unwanted strain on her at times.

Yours and my friends experience is a reminder that birth control is not 100%. I have the Mirena IUD which is great and also take a hormone pill Yasmin as it really helps my skin aswell. I may be paranoid, but am covering all bases. I am happy with the 2 children I have and want it to stay that way!

July 19, 2009 - 2:55pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Kellie - My Health Software)

Hey Kellie. I am currently using Yaz and have been feeling off of the late. I started the pill back in may. My boyfriend and I have always used condoms but I still worry. AT the moment I have my period and some clotting but i wasnt sure if i could still be pregnant. i had heard that you could still get a period. Is there any truth to that?

September 2, 2009 - 10:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi there, I am in the same situation, but I've only been on the pill for 3 months not 2yrs. I had no bad side effects until this past month.

On the 3rd week, I realized I had forgotten to take 3 pills in a row. My dumb butt didn't think too much of it at the time. I had doubled up for the following three days and completed the month out.

But during that 3rd week I had really bad cramps and I had gotten really bloated the day after the 3 pills were missed. I thought it was just cuz my period was tryin to come early due to not taken them correctly.

Cramps only lasted a day or so. I stopped the active pill and usually I would get my period within a day. This time it was 5days late and when it did come I expected it to pick up a little more than it was but it didn't. (It was brownish-red on the pad, and when I wiped it was pink. Absolutely no clots at all-I always have clots on my period) Well that lasted for about 4 days.

I was suppose to start my next set of pills this past thursday(9th of July), but I didn't, due to the possibility that I am pregnant. The spotting has stopped pretty much but I still feel bloated like Im about to get my period.

Breasts are heavier, somewhat tender(not more than usual when I'm on my period though) migraines almost 24/7 for a week now, just purely exhausted the past week and a half, back has been killing me! lol

ohh and the weridest of all of these is 4 days after I was suppose to start my period, I had these werid cramps going on in my lower left abd. Me and my boyfriend were laying there and put our hands on it, and we could both feel a lot of moving going on. It didn't really hurt at all, just a very uncomfortable bloated feeling. That moving has subsided a lot since but not completely stopped.

I took a test this morning test was negative. How many days after finishing your active pill did it take for the pregnacy test to show up positive?(I know everyone is different)I don't even know what week I am in if I am pregnant. Ahhhhh anything you could tell me would be much appreciated. Including if my sypmtoms don't seem to be pregnancy symptoms. I am so scared of havin an ectopic pregnancy...so if you think my symptoms match that in your opinion, considering you've had 3 children already and on your 4th baby. Thank you so much for all your support! ;-)

July 18, 2009 - 5:38pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I understand your worry. I had a negative result with my first test but I still felt like something was different in my body. One week later I took another test and it was positive. I would recommend taking another test and/or calling your doctor. How are you feeling now?

July 20, 2009 - 4:12pm
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