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What Are My Chances of Getting Pregnant on the Pill?

If you and your partner have recently learned about an unexpected pregnancy, perhaps you’re feeling shocked. You had been using birth control, so how could this happen? Understandably, the news can seem stressful. There are often feelings of frustration and confusion after finding out your contraceptive method didn’t work as planned. Before you plan your next steps, gathering information from a reliable resource about contraception, as well as your pregnancy options, can be a healthy way to gradually move forward.

Are you wondering about your chances of getting pregnant on the pill? Are you concerned your contraceptive method may not have worked? Receive a free medical-grade pregnancy test at one of Avenue Women’s Center’s six locations in DuPage County. We are here to answer your questions in a confidential environment. Receive accurate information regarding your pregnancy options.

Contact us today for confidential care and support at no cost!

Why Do Contraceptives Sometimes Fail?  

Oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are hormones. If taken exactly as prescribed, they are usually 99.7% effective in preventing ovulation. While birth control can sometimes severely reduce the chances of you becoming pregnant, it cannot offer a 100% guarantee that you’ll never conceive.  The odds of experiencing an unexpected pregnancy while taking the pill may increase if you do not take it exactly as it’s prescribed, along with a few other reasons.

The typical use rate (meaning taking into account the imperfections in taking the pill as prescribed) can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills to about 91%. In other words, it can increase the risk of a possible pregnancy by up to 9% on average. One of the most frequent reasons women cite as to why the pill might have failed is that they missed a day, or they did not take it at the same time every day.

Some other possible reasons for the pill working less effectively may include:

What Should I Do If I Suspect I May Be Pregnant?  

Are you starting to experience pregnancy symptoms while you are taking birth control pills? Then it’s recommended you take a test to know for sure. Some common symptoms of early pregnancy may include missing a period, fatigue, increased urge to urinate, moodiness, nausea, breast tenderness, among others. Taking an at-home test is an option. But for more accurate results, it may be a good idea to confirm your condition through a doctor or a pregnancy consultant.

Ultrasound Exams

Through these professional resources, you can usually schedule an ultrasound exam. The sooner you know if you’re pregnant or not, then the sooner you can rule out the possibility of complications such as a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. These conditions often require medical treatment. And early detection is often advised so there’s no delay in accessing care.

Information on Pregnancy Options

On top of prioritizing your health, you can gather information about your options. This can seem scary and overwhelming at first. But this is why it can be helpful to refrain from going through the decision-making process alone. There’s a lot of information out there about your choices. And determining what’s accurate and what isn’t can be hard. It can also be beneficial to talk through your decision with a trusted form of support.

Seeking Support

You may be hesitant to let someone in on your pregnancy news. But remaining in your headspace throughout what can sometimes be an emotional journey can create anxieties. Not talking about our feelings can bottle them up. When we’re alone with our thoughts during times of stress, we may be tempted to put pressure on ourselves. Without an encouraging form of support, it can be hard to remember to be kind to ourselves as we think about how to make a decision that will benefit us.

Try to remember you do not have to think about your choices in isolation, and there are plenty of resources who are willing to help by working with you.

If you’ve recently been surprised by the news of an unexpected pregnancy, or are concerned you might be pregnant, you may be wondering where you can go from here. Avenue Women’s Center understands there may be a lot of emotions at this time, and we’re here to answer questions about birth control, its failure rates, as well as your options. Take a free test today and receive accurate results right away. Our staff is here to partner with you through this journey, ensuring you have access to reliable information and support.

Schedule your free appointment with us today!



Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.