Let’s explore this common question…
The answer is yes. The effectiveness of birth control methods varies tremendously, and there is no method other than abstinence that is 100% capable of preventing pregnancy. There are several different types of contraceptives on the market today so it is wise to do some research before choosing. Of course, some are much more effective than others and we will take a look at several types in this article.
About Hormonal Contraceptives
Birth control pills, injections, patches, vaginal rings, and contraceptive implants are all hormonal contraceptives. These medications contain varying amounts of progesterone and/ or estrogen. They are intended to prevent ovulation and studies show that these methods are between 92-99% effective when used properly. The key words here are “when used properly”. There are many factors that can increase the chances of getting pregnant.
Most studies agree that implants are extremely effective, some up to 99.9%. These are inserted into the body by a physician and local anesthesia is required for this procedure. These implants are intended to last 3-4 years depending on which kind is used. After that time a doctor must extract them. Because the complete procedure tends to be costly, it is not as popular as other methods.
One of the most popular and very effective hormonal contraceptives is the pill. Generally, women who are on the pill are expected to take the medication every day at the same time. If it is skipped or taken at a different time of day than usual, it can impact the reliability a great deal. Contact your doctor if you forget to take your pill and follow the prescribed instructions.
Also, it is very important to check other medications you are taking to insure that it does not interact with the pill in any way. Make sure that your doctors know that you are on the pill. Certain types of medications are incompatible and can decrease the effectiveness of the pill.
Can I get pregnant on birth control? As you can see, you are a main factor in the answer to this question.
One final note on taking the pill: If you are sick and have diarrhea and/or are vomiting your body might not absorb the pill if not given enough time. Of course, when this happens it increases your chances of getting pregnant. Your system must absorb the medication for it to have the desired result. Contact your physician and let him/her know if this is the case.
Other Hormonal Contraceptives
The other hormonal contraceptives mentioned above are rapidly gaining popularity for many reasons. These mainly differ in the way medicine is delivered into the body. Some of them must be administered by a physician and this can make the cost a factor in deciding which one is right for you.
Injectable hormones are administered every 2-3 months and require a visit to the doctor. Patches are worn 3 weeks out of the month and changed out once a week. Rings are self-inserted and are worn for 3 weeks then a new ring is inserted after the 4th week.
Hormonal Contraceptives Conclusion
As with any type of medication, there are possible side effects and health risks. If you begin experiencing any side effects contact your doctor immediately. You should take the time to find which one works best for you. Because there are so many choices on the market today they should be thoroughly researched and discussed with your doctor in detail.
So the better question here might be Can I get pregnant on birth control if I am using hormonal contraceptives? The answer is yes, but it is highly unlikely. The failure rate of these contraceptives can be up to 1% or less.
About Barrier Contraceptives
Condoms, diaphragms, sponges, caps, and spermicides are barrier contraceptives. These stop sperm from entering the woman’s uterus and fertilizing the egg. They are chemical or physical agents designed to be used only when having sex and are very convenient. Most of these do not require a prescription and are less expensive than hormonal contraceptives. There also tend to be fewer side effects. Barrier contraceptives are considered to be moderately effective, with studies showing a 71-85% effectiveness rate. This percentage does go up when combining barrier methods, such as a condom and spermicide.
*It should be noted that some spermicides have a failure rate as high as 50%.These are not considered reliable when used alone.
The most popular barrier method is the condom. Condoms have an effectiveness rate of around 85-91% when used properly. There is a possibility that the latex tube can tear and/or break during sex. If improperly placed on the penis, protection is minimized. Carefully read and follow all instructions precisely for this product to work for you. Do not use oil based lubricants when using condoms as this will break down the latex. If you or your partner is allergic to latex this is not an option for you.
Can I get pregnant on birth control if I’m using barrier contraceptives? Yes. Although more likely to become pregnant than if you use hormonal contraceptives this form of birth control is considered effective.
There are other forms of birth control that are not mentioned here but are worth looking at. Effectiveness is an important factor to consider when choosing a birth control method. You must also consider costs, side effects, and future plans. There is a failure rate with all forms of contraception but hopefully once you decide you can put your mind at ease when asking, “Can I get pregnant on birth control?”