Must Know Risks of Taking Birth Control Pills while Pregnant


There are many types of birth control available. But, only abstinence is the birth control available, that is 100 percent effective. All other forms of birth control can lead to failure occasionally. However, when the birth control fails, it is possible to become pregnant.

There are different types of birth control which have varying levels of effectiveness and fail for different reasons. Birth control options are –

  • Hormonal methods
  • Intrauterine devices
  • Barrier methods
  • Natural methods

risks of birth control pills

In This Article:

Birth control pills are hormonal methods of birth control which work by releasing either a synthetic form of progesterone called progestin or a mixture of progestin and synthetic estrogen. These prevent pregnancy by –

  • Stopping ovulation
  • Thinning the lining of the uterus which makes it difficult for an embryo to implant
  • Thickening the cervical mucus making it hard for sperm to enter the uterus

However, hormonal birth control can fail due to the following reasons –

  • Failing to take the pill, get the next injection or change the patch or ring on time
  • Taking antibiotics
  • Forgetting to take a pill

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the birth control injection is considered to be the most effective form of hormonal birth control. Birth control pills, patches and rings are considered about 91 percent effective with typical use.

Common side effects of birth control are –

They are also associated with an increase in blood pressure, benign liver tumors and cancer.

Is there a Chance of Getting Pregnant while Taking Birth Control?

What Happens when You are Pregnant and Take Birth Control?

Taking birth control accidentally while pregnant may not harm the growing foetus during early pregnancy. But make sure to stop it immediately after learning about the pregnancy. As the birth control during first few weeks of pregnancy may not adversely affect the developing foetus but some effects can be noted –

Chances of Birth Defects

Many women suddenly become pregnant while taking birth control and may be worried about the baby being born with some likely birth issues. But there is still no concrete scientific evidence available which shows that taking birth control while in early pregnancy leads to increased chances of birth defects in babies.


Risk of Miscarriage

Taking birth control while pregnant can be a cause of miscarriage of unplanned pregnancy while taking birth control. But there is no statistical data available till date which can establish a relation between the two aspects.

Possibility of Ectopic Pregnancy

Evidence suggests that taking progestin-only birth control pill while pregnant may increase the prospect of the occurrence of ectopic pregnancy (fertilization of egg outside the uterus) in some cases.

Risk of Preterm Delivery and Low Birth Weight

Some studies recommends that women conceiving while on the birth control may be at a greater risk of experiencing preterm labor, low birth weight and few congenital urinary tract anomalies.

Unexpected pregnancy while on birth control is common. For confirming the pregnancy take home pregnancy test. In case of pregnancy it is advised to stop taking birth control at once.


Risks of Taking Birth Control Pills


The birth control should not be taken by –

  • Women with pregnancy
  • Smokers over the age of 35 years or stopped smoking within the last year and is over 35 years old
  • Obesity
  • Taking certain medications
  • Heart problem, stroke or thrombosis
  • Close relative with blood clot before the age of 45 years
  • Severe migraines
  • Breast cancer or disease of the liver or gall bladder
  • Diabetes for at least 20 years

Do Birth Control Pills Cause Miscarriages?

There is no concrete evidence to suggest that taking birth control pills causes miscarriage. The hormones in the pill work by thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus, stopping ovulation and preventing the thickening of the uterine lining to support implantation and none of these things contributes to either a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Symptoms of Being Pregnant while on Birth Control

Women being pregnant while on birth control may notice the following signs and symptoms –

  • A missed period
  • Implantation spotting or bleeding
  • Tenderness or other changes in the breasts
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and food aversions
  • Backaches
  • Headaches
  • A frequent need to urinate
  • Mood swings

Accurate results are given by a pregnancy test while on the birth control pill. These tests work by measuring a specific pregnancy related hormone that is hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in the blood or urine. The active ingredients in birth control pills don’t affect how a pregnancy test measures the level of hCG in the system.



No need to worry if birth control pills are taken because pregnancy is not known. This can be a accident happening and there is little evidence that exposure to the hormones in birth control pills causes birth defects. Once the pregnancy is confirmed stop taking the birth control pill.


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