Contraceptive Pill and Pregnancy

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If you think you may be pregnant whilst on the pill, it is important that you stop taking the pill immediately and contact your doctor for clarification. If you are indeed pregnant, then you should stop taking the pill as the oestrogen levels can potentially affect your baby’s development, as the uterus is not properly prepared for a foetus.

Trying to become pregnant

If you have been on the pill and want to try for a baby, then you need to stop taking it. The best way to do this is continue with the pack of pills that you are on and then don’t start the next pack. This allows your cycle to complete properly and then your body can return to normal. The pill does not make you infertile but you may not fall pregnant for the first few months after stopping the pill because the body needs time to fall back into its usual menstrual cycle. Your eggs will not have been affected by the pill. If you are having difficulty falling pregnant for a year or so after you have stopped taking the pill, then consult your doctor to check that there isn’t a problem.

Using the pill after birth

You can start using the contraceptive pill around 21 days after the birth of your baby and you will be protected from pregnancy straight away. If you start any time after this period, you may need additional contraception to protect you. However, if you are breastfeeding your newborn it is not advised that you start the contraceptive pill. The oestrogen levels in the pill will stop you from producing a sufficient amount of milk to feed your baby so it is best to use another method of contraception for 6 months so that your baby can get the milk that it needs.

The contraceptive pill and abortion/miscarriage

If you have experienced a miscarriage or have had an abortion, you can start taking the pill anytime within seven days after the event. If you start during this time, you will be completely protected and the pill will be very effective. However, starting anytime later than seven days after the miscarriage or abortion, you will need to use another form of contraception such as a condom, for at least 7 days, after you start the contraceptive pill.

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