Birth control while pregnant, is it dangerous?
The Philippines is new to opening up to questions of reproductive health, knowing that it underwent almost half a millennium of colonial experience with assimilative culture from its colonizers. Birth control and the use of contraceptives are still struggling issues for most Filipinos.
Meanwhile, people now consider that unintended pregnancies are most common to happen without taking any birth control pills. Well, that is what we believe we knew. Even taking birth control pills would have a slim chance of getting you pregnant.
You read it right. However, the problem here lies not about being surprised by the foolproof of using birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, but the point of taking birth control pills while unknowingly you are already pregnant.
Will it cause miscarriage? Will it cause birth defects? What will happen to your baby?
From the research we reviewed, we will answer the question of “if taking birth control pills will cause miscarriage” with the following topics:
- Can birth control pills stop pregnancy?
- Effects of taking birth control pills while pregnant
- Symptoms of miscarriage while on birth control
What is birth control?
Before answering the adverse effects of birth control pills on your pregnancy, let’s first talk about the concept of birth control for us to understand its effect on pregnancy.
Birth control is a method presented by science to prevent pregnancy. There are options for this method, as you may want first to ask for a prescription and information from a doctor if what suits you.
- barrier birth control (like using condoms)
- surgical methods (tying tubes or vasectomy)
- hormonal birth control
The most common of these methods is using birth control pills. According to NHS’s claim, birth control pills are more than 99 percent effective, followed by correct use. Well, to err is human, and the possibility of skipping doses might lead the probability to only 91 percent (in typical usage).
Birth control while pregnant. | Image from Pexels.com
Alternatives are available if you want to avoid daily pills (and the human error of skipping doses) like intrauterine devices (IUD) or other implants. CDC claims it’s more than 99 percent effective.
Condoms’ correct usage may come with 98 percent effectivity, while typical use comes with 82%.
Abstinence makes it a hundred percent effective to prevent pregnancy, although, correct and proper use of contraceptives also make it almost a hundred percent effectivity. Correct use means perfect to use without any human error like skipping a pill.
Birth control while pregnant: Can birth control pills stop pregnancy?
While we had already cleared of clouds on birth control concepts and some of its methods, let’s talk about if it can affect pregnancy.
Thinking if you are pregnant?
It is not recommended that you still take pills while you are pregnant. After all, whatever you take in mommies may affect your babies.
Birth control and miscarriage myths
Most birth control practices are not that harmful to your baby when used during your early pregnancy (as you did not know about your pregnancy). There are misconceptions between birth control pills and the use of medical abortion pills.
- Birth control pills while pregnant
Some mommies may think about that if they are surprisingly pregnant while taking birth control pills, they might have miscarriages. This is entirely wrong.
While ethical considerations disallow researching about the effects of taking birth control pills might cause miscarriage, there has no evidence to suggest that. Pills do not cause miscarriage.
The effects of hormones in the pill stop ovulation and thicken cervical mucus to prevent any passages of sperm cells in the uterus.
Also, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, taking birth control pills prior to pregnancy does not result in pregnancy loss.
Experience of miscarriage while taking birth control pills at the same time before getting pregnant does not necessarily mean that pills did it. There is a common worry but these two situations are not relevant to each other.
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Additionally, from Very Well Family’s research review, a vast study in 2008 examined a list of over 90,000 women and found no notes of increased risks of miscarriage and fetal deaths in babies exposed to birth control pills.
A 2010 study in Epidemiology also found no increased risk for many forms of birth defects in mothers who used pills during early pregnancy.
If you find yourself pregnant while on pills, better discontinue taking them. The pills may not harm your baby entirely, but this does not mean the effects could not be present, to you and to your baby.
Image from | pexels.com
Effects of taking birth control pills and other methods of contraceptives while pregnant
Some methods of birth control may cause harm while you are on your pregnancy. The following are methods of common contraceptives and their risks if you continue to use them while on your pregnancy.
COCs or Progestin-only pills
Combined estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives (COCs) contain synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone, while progestin-only pills contain synthetic progesterone only. These two birth control pills have different forms and effects.
While there’s no research evidence claiming the effects of birth control pills while you are pregnant in relation to miscarriage, some studies suggest that your baby might be at increased risk of wheezing, asthma, and rhinitis.
Having an IUD while getting pregnant, there can be some implications for you and your baby. According to research, a mother choosing to leave her IUD while pregnant has an increased risk of 40% of miscarriage might happen. Also, it will raise the probability of preterm birth to 500%.
Having the risks in your mind, better ask your OB immediately if you want your IUD to be removed when you have decided to continue your pregnancy. Proper and timely removal of IUDs may help you reduce the risks said.
Keeping your IUD in may also cause an infection called chorioamnionitis. Chorioamnionitis results in premature delivery. When this occurs, membranes surrounding your baby and the amniotic fluid that your baby is floating in both would have been infected.
Other situations might be that the placenta can separate from the uterus before or during giving birth to your baby. While researchers are not sure entirely, this particular condition may be related to having an IUD during pregnancy.
There is no evidence that using birth control methods such as implants, injection shots, and vaginal rings results in birth defects and/or miscarriages if you are using them during your pregnancy.
These forms of contraceptives are usually the same types of hormones contained in birth control pills.
Image from | pexels.com
There are no recorded risks in using barrier methods like using condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, spermicides, and sponges while pregnant.
These barrier methods are used to physically resist sperm from fertilizing an egg and do not involve hormones. The use of condoms while pregnant can prevent sexually transmitted infections.
While progestin-only pills such as birth control do not have any evidence of increased risks of miscarriage and birth defects, these pills may increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy due to failure of preventing pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted in a place but the uterus lining (endometrium).
Symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are:
- lower back pain
- pain in the abdomen or in the pelvis
- abnormality in vaginal bleeding
Severe, sudden pain in the pelvis or abdomen, shoulder pain, or fainting, are serious symptoms of ectopic pregnancy. This needs quick medical attention. These symptoms might be an implication of a ruptured fallopian tube.
Immediately seek a doctor’s help if you have any of these symptoms or a combination of these.
Miscarriage: causes and symptoms
While using birth control pills during pregnancy does not have any evidence in relation to miscarriage, continuing to have these contraceptive methods might eventually cause birth defects and fetal deaths.
It is important that you stop taking pills if you found out that you are already pregnant.
Meanwhile, what causes miscarriage, and what are its symptoms?
A miscarriage is the loss of your baby before the 20th week of your pregnancy. It is medically termed “spontaneous abortion”.
More than 80% of miscarriages occur during the first 3 months of pregnancy. If it happens after week 20, doctors call it a late miscarriage.
- bleeding that goes from light to heavy
- severe cramping
- abdominal pain
- weight loss
- fever with a combination of these symptoms
- white-pink mucus
- tissue like blood clots passing from the vagina
- fewer signs of pregnancy
Go to a hospital immediately if you are pregnant or even not when you have these symptoms.
Most miscarriages happen when your unborn baby has fatal genetic problems. Cause of miscarriage might include the following:
- medical conditions in the mother, such as diabetes or thyroid disease
- hormone problems
- immune system responses
- physical problems in the mother
- uterine abnormalities
If you think you had a miscarriage or are at risk of having a miscarriage, immediately seek a doctor’s help to prevent it.
Taking contraceptives also may need a consultation from a doctor. Some adverse effects might happen if you have any conditions that can be triggered by any contraceptive methods.
Be safe mommies! Use your contraceptives wisely.
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advise or medical treatment. theAsianparent Philippines is not responsible to those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend to consult your doctor for clearer information.