Birth control is a convenient method to prevent pregnancy short-term and allows women to choose a good time for them to become pregnant. Most birth control consists of hormones that prevent ovulation and reduce the chance of an egg becoming fertilized by sperm.

If you’re currently taking birth control or looking into what your options are, I’m sure you’re wondering can you get pregnant on birth control. To answer that, yes you can get pregnant while taking birth control. There are certain factors that will increase your risk of becoming pregnant while taking birth control, so we’ll discuss that in more detail.   

Effectiveness of Birth Control

Birth control must be prescribed by your physician and will come with detailed instructions on the packages. There are many different methods of birth control available so it’s important for your doctor to prescribe a method that is right your needs. Birth control can be up to 99.7 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, with IUDs and implants being the most effective methods.

It’s important to notify your doctor if you are taking any of other medications before you start taking birth control. This is because some medications may interact with your birth control and make it less effective. Before you begin taking birth control, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different types and follow the instructions on the packaging.

Reasons That Birth Control Fails

Some methods of birth control are only effective when used with perfect use. There are many factors can increase your chances of getting pregnant while taking birth control including medications interfering with the birth control, obesity, and improper use.

If you are taking a progestin-only birth control pill, it is especially important to follow the instructions and take the pill at the same time every day. Progestin-only pills like Ortho-Micronor, Camila, and Heather are less effective than combination pills because they do not contain the hormone estrogen. So, if you’re still unsure if can you get pregnant on birth control and what the chances are, it’s best to talk to your doctor and find a method of birth control that is right for you.

No matter what birth control method you choose you can always add extra protection by combining your birth control with a condom. Plus, condoms are the only way to project yourself from getting an STD – and unless you are with a monogamous partner, it’s best to use this practice anyway!

If you’re still wondering, can you get pregnant on birth control, you should know that the only method of birth control that is 100 percent effective is abstinence!

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Now that you know the answer to can you get pregnant on birth control, let’s discuss the early symptoms of pregnancy and what you should do if you think you may be pregnant. Symptoms of pregnancy can happen within the first weeks of conception. If you are experiencing any of the early symptoms below, you should take a home pregnancy test or visit your doctor to find out if you are pregnant.

Common Signs of Pregnancy

Missed period – an obvious symptom of pregnancy is a missed period. If you are more than a few days later and are experiencing any other symptoms of pregnancy, you should take a home pregnancy test right away.

Fatigue – fatigue and tiredness are another common symptom of early pregnancy. Your levels of progesterone (hormone) increase significantly which may cause you to feel more sleepy than usual.

Mood swings –  again, the increased hormones in your body will impact your mood and may cause you to be unusually emotional. Mood swings are common throughout the first trimester.

Nausea or vomiting – morning sickness is one of the classic symptoms of pregnancy and can be a real pain for many women. For some, morning sickness begins as early as week two of pregnancy and can persist throughout the length of the pregnancy. If you have ever suffered from morning sickness, you will know that anything can set you off!  

Food cravings – most women experience unusual food cravings, especially during the first trimester. This is due to the changes in hormones during this stage of the pregnancy. Fried foods are the most common cravings. Some women might also experience an aversion to foods they normally like. Both cravings and aversions are common symptoms of early pregnancy.

Tender or swollen breasts – breast tenderness is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. Breasts will often feel heavier, tingly, or sore. These symptoms can be felt within the first 1-2 weeks after conception. 

What to Do if You think You’re Pregnant

Unfortunately, most of the symptoms above are also symptoms of your menstrual cycle. This can be confusing for women taking birth control and wondering can you get pregnant on birth control. So how do you know if you are in fact pregnant and what should you do next? Well the first thing you should do if you’re experiencing any or all the symptoms above is take a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are said to be around 99% percent accurate, however, some brands are less effective at early detection or may show a false positive.

If you’re taking some form of birth control and wondering can you get pregnant on birth control, a positive result will most definitely come as a surprise. First, don’t panic! Wait a couple days before taking another test to confirm that you are pregnant. If the second test shows positive, then you should visit your doctor within the next week or so (approximately 6-8 weeks after your last period).