There really, honestly, is no such thing as completely safe sex unless you’re choosing not to have sex at all, and that includes those of you in committed, monogamous heterosexual relationships – assuming of course you’re trying to avoid having children. You can be certain that you’re partner isn’t having an affair and you can be certain that you’re not having an affair either which means introducing a brand new sexually transmitted disease to the relationship would be nearly impossible. That doesn’t, however, mean you’re protected from unplanned pregnancies.
Can I Get Pregnant On Birth Control Pills?
There are many forms of birth control out there but the traditional birth control pill is probably the most commonly used. While birth control pills are considered 99% effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies, there is still that one percent chance. There are also a lot of things a woman can do – or not to, as the case may be – that could dramatically reduce how effective the pill is.
What Can Reduce the Effectiveness of Birth Control Pills?
There are actually a whole lot of things that can reduce effectiveness of your birth control pills. Not taking the pill when you’re scheduled to take is one of the biggest reasons you can get pregnant on birth control pills. It is extremely important to take your pills when you’re supposed to take them for that reason. If you forget a pill or take it at the wrong time, you could be putting yourself and your sexual partner at risk of an unplanned pregnancy.
In order for birth control pills to do their job, you need to familiarize yourself with when you need to take your pill and when you don’t. Most birth control pills follow a cycle. Know that cycle. Pay close attention to that cycle. You need to take a pill every single day of the “on” part of your cycle and you need to take the pill at roughly the same time every day. You don’t have to schedule your pill time down to the minute, but if you take your pill in the morning when you get up for work, take your pill when you get up for work the next day. Pick a time you think will be most convenient for you. Talk to your doctor about what they would recommend. While it might seem like a lot of hassle, if you want to have sex and don’t feel you’re ready to be a mother, it doesn’t hurt to be a little over cautious.
Running out of pills and forgetting to pick up new ones can also pose problems for women on birth control pills because it often means missing a scheduled dose. Plan ahead. Set a reminder to get your refill on your phone. Mark it on the calendar. You don’t have to be obvious about it. Just write “R” for refill, “B” for birth control or something else that will remind you to pick up a refill. Try to make sure you pick up that refill a few days in advance so you’re covered in case you can’t make it to the pharmacy right away when you run out or take your last pill.
If you miss a pill, you can call your doctor and ask what your best course of action is. It really just depends on what kind of pill you’re on and no one will be better able to answer your questions than your doctor or your pharmacist. For some pills, you can take two the following day. For others, you can just take one as soon as you realize you forgot. Some women will ask their health care provider what they should do in the event of a missed dose as soon as they start taking the pill. That’s a fantastic idea. If you haven’t yet started taking your pill, you should remember that question and make sure you ask it. Getting as much information as you can about your pills right away is the best way to avoid possible accidents.
Certain medications can also effect how well your birth control works. Certain types of antibiotics are a big culprit in this category. If you have to visit your doctor, the emergency room or even the dentist and you’re given a prescription for anything, make sure you let the person writing the prescription know that you’re taking birth control pills. They’ll be able to tell you if you need to worry about any interactions between the medication they’re offering and your birth control. They’ll also be able to tell you if you need to worry about the medication you’re being given having an impact on the effectiveness of your birth control. If there is a possibly interaction, they may even be able to prescribe something else if that’s at all possible. Talking honestly is the best way to find out.
Can I Get Pregnant If He Wears a Condom?
Just like with the pill, used properly condoms are an extremely effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Just like the pill, they’re not one hundred percent effective. Condoms can break. Condoms can have holes in them. Even a fully intact and functional condom can be a lot less effective if it isn’t put on properly the first time. If you’re ready to have sex, you should know how to properly put a condom on a penis. Make sure you squeeze the reservoir at the top of the condom when you put it on (or when your partner puts it on). Failing to do that one simple little thing can lead to a burst condom and an unplanned pregnancy.
It’s also important to make sure you use a new condom when you switch positions, especially if you are going from anal intercourse to vaginal intercourse. First, a condom can become weakened if the man pulls out and reenters from another position. Second, going from anal intercourse to vaginal intercourse without switching condoms may not only weaken the condom but can also leave you with a nasty infection.
Beyond making sure you put the condom on properly and making sure you change condoms when changing positions, it’s also important to check the expiration date on condoms. Condoms become degraded with age. If your condoms have expired, buy new condoms. It’s as simple as that. Expired lubricant or spermacide on a condom can irritate the vagina, cause an infection or lead to broken or torn condoms.
What About Other Forms of Birth Control?
When I think about unplanned pregnancies, I think about a dear friend of mine who now has five children – each one of them conceived while she was using various forms of birth control. She tried the pill. She tried the ring. She tried the needle. She tried the patch, condoms, implants and just about everything else you can imagine but the pregnancies kept happening. She eventually had surgery because even though she and her husband love all of their children, they cannot emotionally or financially support any more children. The point I’m trying to make here is that if you’re having sex, you’re risking pregnancy. Be careful and take precautions but remember, that risk is always there. My friends calls her children miracles not accidents and insisted it was just in the stars that she have as many children as she had. She considers all five of them blessings. That doesn’t mean she wants to be blessed a sixth time. An unplanned pregnancy does not have to be an unwanted pregnancy. A baby could change your life in ways you never imagined and bring you happiness you never expected. Keep that in mind if you see a plus sign on a pregnancy test even though it wasn’t what you’d planned. You never know what life has in store for you and for your little one.