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How is it possible to get pregnant if missing birth control pills?

By Anonymous June 13, 2009 - 2:28pm
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I have heard of many women becomming pregnant when they miss a couple pills? How is that possible? because I have also heard that when a woman gets OFF the pill, it may take a few months to get pregnant because the hormone may still be in her system. I just thought of this because Im hearing so many things from other people. I have just gotten off my pill and this is the first month witout being on the pill and we're trying to concieve.

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I had for got to take 2 of my pill and i had a son in spet 9th but i wanted to no if i could be pregent agin becase i had my priod and we had sexs last night and im stoping agin ?

July 5, 2010 - 2:57pm

Hi, Anon, and thank you for your question!

It's a million-dollar question, too, meaning that if you and I could come up with the perfect scientific answer to it, we would make a million dollars.

Birth control pills are pills that prevent a woman from ovulating. The hormones that are in them also help keep the lining of the uterus thin (to prevent implantation should a fertilized egg occur) and help keep the cervical mucus thick, which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. When you take your correct dose of birth control hormones daily, they're about 97%-99% effective. But even with all that, 1 or 2 women in 100 will get pregnant -- while on the pill, taking it perfectly. Despite all the things the pill is set up to do, it still happens a very small percentage of the time.

If you miss a pill, it means you've missed a dose of the hormones that are performing all those functions. For women who miss a pill or perhaps were sick and vomited one up, the pregnancy rate goes up to about 8 in 100. It's still a small number, but it can happen.

For the largest percentage of women, however, the birth control pill works. And when you go off it, your body -- your own hormones -- may have an adjustment period. Our cycles just don't run like clockwork. Our own hormones start telling our ovaries when to release an egg. They tell our uterus when to start building the tissue that might nurture a fertilized egg. They start telling our cervical mucus when to start being "friendly" to sperm. It's a complex, natural dance that can be a little thrown off by the chemical hormones we were taking in a birth control pill.

So try away, with much optimism! You might conceive right away -- there's nothing that says you won't be able to. But if you need a few months to do it, don't worry. That's normal too.

Here are a couple of resources that are about trying to conceive after stopping the pill:




Good luck, and may you soon have the good news you're hoping for!

June 13, 2009 - 5:25pm
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