What Do I Need to Know About Birth Control Pills If I Become Pregnant?
For those mothers who have already experienced a pregnancy, the answer to this question is fairly straightforward. Inexperienced new mothers – pregnant for the first time – are usually not as informed as they want to be. For them, the question, “What do I need to know about birth control if I become pregnant?” needs some explanation.
With that last thought in mind, here are some answers to the most relevant questions that every new mother should ask about the relationship between birth control pills and pregnancy:
Should I Be Overly Concerned Early On?
While birth control is not foolproof – a success rate of 90% is routinely cited – it does afford the best way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. Still, it does occasionally fail. A woman on birth control should nevertheless suspect that she is pregnant if she experiences bouts of nausea, abdominal cramps. Tenderness in the breasts and lighter periods.
Will They Use Cause Birth Defects?
The most damning evidence against the use of birth control pills during the early stages of pregnancy involves a higher incidence of low birth weight though there is no clinical evidence that they cause any type of birth defect. In short, an expectant mother should not overly worry if she has taken birth control pills for any length of time while pregnant. In fact, most new mothers continue to take birth control pills for almost a month before they determine that they are pregnant – with no ill effects.
Is it Otherwise Dangerous To Continue?
Birth control pills of varying kinds – though they all operate on the same biologic principle – have been around for over five decades and proved to be remarkably safe. Still, the pill does introduce an extra measure of progestin and estrogen – two naturally occurring hormones – into the mother’s body. Nevertheless, this fact does not mean that unnecessary hormones should be introduced into the mother’s body and thus affect the fetus.
Is it Safe to Take the Pill While Breastfeeding?
Combination pills are somewhat problematic as they can reduce the quality and quantity of the mother’s breast milk. Progestin-only pills do not have the same effect. In either case, neither will affect the health of the baby although it is always a good idea to talk with your nurse or doctor about any concerns before changing your birth control regimen while breastfeeding.
What is the Bottom Line?
As a precaution, if you are taking birth control pill and suspect that you are pregnant, first take a home pregnancy test. Then, a postie result is obtained, suspend taking the pill. If taking a home pregnancy test is not possible, stop taking the birth control pill until a doctor can either confirm or rule out the pregnancy.
Your first pregnancy can be a very stressful time. Simply, getting all the facts is the first step in relieving much of this stress. Turn to Your First Look Women’s Center to help you at this time. We would be happy to directly discuss any of your questions about the taking of birth control pills either before, during or after your pregnancy. For further information, please contact us online at YourFirstLook.org or reach us directly by phone at 567.455.1101.