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Conception pills are hormones that act by preventing ovulation and, therefore, prevent pregnancy. However, even with the correct use, whether in the form of pills, hormone patch, vaginal ring or taking an injection, there is a minimal risk of getting pregnant because contraceptives are about 99% effective, that is, 1 in 100 women can get pregnant even using correctly.
However, some situations such as forgetting to take the contraceptive, using antibiotics or other medicines can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill, increasing the risk of pregnancy. Here are some examples of remedies that reduce the effectiveness of the pill.
If a woman thinks she is pregnant but is still on the pill, she should take a pregnancy test as soon as possible. If the result is positive, you should stop using the contraceptive and consult your gynecologist for follow-up.
It is important to emphasize that before starting the use of contraceptives, you should always consult a gynecologist so that the best contraceptive method for each woman and the correct way of use is indicated.
Some factors can limit the effectiveness of the birth control pill and increase the risk of pregnancy and include:
1. Forgetting to take a day
Forgetting to take your birth control pill one day can increase your chances of getting pregnant because hormone levels in your body can fluctuate, which increases your risk of ovulating.
If you forget to take the contraceptive pill in the first week of the pack, there is a greater risk of pregnancy because ovulation can happen earlier and sperm can survive in the vaginal canal for up to 5 days after intimate contact.
If you forget to take a pill, take it as soon as you remember and then take the next pill at the usual time.
In these cases, you must use another additional contraceptive method, such as a condom, for the next 7 days. Find out more about what to do if you forget to take your contraceptive.
2. Not taking it at the right time
Contraceptives are designed to be taken every 24 hours, so it's important to always take them at the same time so that the body's hormone levels don't fluctuate, which increases the risk of ovulating and the chances of getting pregnant.
Some tips for taking the pill at the right time are setting a wake-up clock, a reminder on your cell phone, or creating the habit of taking the pill with a specific daily activity, such as during lunch or dinner, for example.
In the case of birth control pills that contain only one hormone, progesterone, such as Cerazette, delaying the timing of a pill dose greatly increases the chances of getting pregnant because hormone levels drop very quickly, which greatly increases the risk of ovulating.
It is important to use an additional contraceptive method for the next 7 days if you forget to take your contraceptive at the same time each day.
3. Having episodes of diarrhea or vomiting
Having episodes of diarrhea or vomiting within 3 to 4 hours of taking the birth control pill, or having vomiting or diarrhea for 48 hours or more, reduces the absorption of the birth control pill, increasing the risk of becoming pregnant.
In these cases, you should continue taking the contraceptive normally and use condoms as an additional contraceptive method.
4. Forgetting to take it several times
Forgetting to take the contraceptive pill several times during the month does not allow an effective contraceptive effect and the risk of pregnancy increases greatly. Therefore, condoms must be used throughout the use of the contraceptive pill, until starting a new one.
In this case, it is important to talk to the gynecologist and try another contraceptive method that does not need to be taken every day, such as a contraceptive injection, hormonal patch, hormone implant in the arm or insert an IUD, for example.
5. Switch contraceptives
Changing contraceptives requires care and medical advice because each contraceptive has its characteristics and the exchange of hormones can change hormone levels in the body and unwanted ovulation occurs, increasing the risk of becoming pregnant.
Generally, it is advised to use a condom for the first 2 weeks when changing contraceptives. See how to change contraceptives without risking pregnancy.
6. Use other remedies
Some drugs can interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, reducing or cutting their effect.
Some studies show that most antibiotics do not interfere with the effect of oral contraceptives, as long as they are taken correctly, every day and at the same time.However, there are some antibiotics that have been proven to reduce the effectiveness of contraceptives, such as rifampicin, rifapentine and rifabutin, used to treat tuberculosis, leprosy and bacterial meningitis, and griseofulvin which is an antifungal used to treat mycoses on the skin. When it is necessary to use these antibiotics or experience vomiting or diarrhea after using any antibiotic, condoms should be used as an additional contraceptive method to prevent pregnancy.
Other drugs that reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives are anticonvulsants such as phenobarbital, carbamazepine, oxcarbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate or felbamate, used to reduce or eliminate seizures. That's why it's important to talk to the doctor responsible for the treatment to avoid interactions that interfere with the use of contraceptives.
7. Drinking alcohol
Alcohol does not directly interfere with oral contraceptives, however, when you drink there is a greater risk of forgetting to take the pill, which can reduce its effectiveness and increase the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.
Also, if you drink a lot before taking the contraceptive and vomit up to 3 or 4 hours after taking the pill, it will reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive.
8. Not storing the contraceptive correctly
The birth control pill should be stored at a temperature between 15 and 30 degrees and away from moisture, so it should not be stored in the bathroom or kitchen. Keeping the pill in the original package, at the correct temperature and away from moisture, ensures that the pills do not undergo changes that could reduce their effectiveness and increase the risk of becoming pregnant.
Before using the pill, check the appearance of the pill and if it has any color or smell changes, if it crumbles or looks wet, do not use it.Buy another pill pack to ensure the pills are intact and without changes that could affect effectiveness.
Is it possible to get pregnant while taking the pill and breastfeeding?
The progesterone contraceptive pill, Cerazette, which is used during breastfeeding, serves to prevent pregnancy and is about 99% effective, like other contraceptive pills. However, if a woman forgets to take the pill for more than 12 hours or is taking an antibiotic, for example, she can become pregnant again, even if she is breastfeeding. In these cases, an additional contraceptive method, such as a condom, should be used at least for the next 7 days of delay in taking the pill dose.
See which antibiotics cut the contraceptive effect.