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Can you get pregnant while on birth control?

Unfortunately the answer to this one is always yes. The good news is – some birth control methods make this less likely than others!

There is always a chance you could get pregnant, unless you are practicing abstinence. The risk of pregnancy varies with each type of birth control, and there are a few things that make pregnancy more or less likely while on the pill:

  • The method of birth control you are using.
    Not every method is created equal. If you are using something like the patch or pill, the effectiveness is about 92% with average use, whereas with an IUD, the effectiveness is over 99%! To put that simple, about 8/100 women will get pregnant using the pill or patch and less than 1/100 will get pregnant with an IUD.
  • How well you follow the directions.
    The effectiveness of many birth control methods relies on your adherence to taking it according to the directions. So it is only effective if you take a new pill at the same time every day, a new patch on the right day each week, or a new ring on the right day each month. If you deviate at all from that, the effectiveness goes down which is why we refer to the effectiveness being for “average use.” If you are using one of these methods, you may feel like you don’t need to worry about pregnancy. In reality, if you aren’t great at sticking to the schedule, you may be increasing your chances quite a bit. This is one of the main reasons we love IUDs! Once you get an IUD or an implant, you can forget about it. You don’t need to worry about it every day, month or even year, and the effectiveness is always over 99%!
  • Whether you use a backup method.
    Sometimes things happen – maybe you took your pill late, forgot a pill all together, or you didn’t get in to your appointment on time for your next Depo shot. The best thing you can do during any slip up like this is use a backup method like condoms otherwise you may get pregnant.

Just remember, there are always different birth control methods if you feel the one you are using isn’t the best for you. If you not planning to get pregnant for at least a year, we recommend considering an IUD for birth control since they are the most effective, and don’t require you to remember it to be effective.

Questions about IUDs or any other methods? Make an appointment to speak to one of our treatment coordinators about all of your birth control options!

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