Curious about birth control

  1. and pregnacy. No I am not pregnant,not on birth control pills and not looking for medical advice. I'm just curious does anyone know what effect birth control would have on pregnancy? I hear about people getting pregnant on the pill and have never really thought too much about it until a couple of days ago. I looked on the net and couldn't find much info but it seems to me it it wouldn't really do much right, because they are mostly estrogen and progesterone, both of which are needed to sustain a pregnancy.

    So am I competely off base in my rationale? Anyway I'm off to check the net to see what I can come up with.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    It depends - can do anything from nothing to spontaneous abortion as far as I am aware (but I'm not an OB nurse)
  4. by   prmenrs
    You probably need to check w/your health care provider if this is in regard to yourself...
  5. by   BSNtobe2009
    You need to go see your OB-GYN if you think you are pregnant and taking birth control pills or other oral contraception, because that it what it sounds like you are concerned about. The internet is not meant for self-diagnosis, and isn't a replacement for a doctor.

    Yeah, it's a pain if it's a false alarm and "stopping" BC and having to restart it...but not half as much of a pain as getting pregnant when you aren't ready for it.
  6. by   eden
    No it's really not about me, I said so in my initial post. It's kind of hard to get pregnant when you are not having sex but thank you for the assumption.

    If it were about me I would not be here asking. I was simply curious because I see patients on L&D, from time to tme who were on the pill when they got pregnant and we do not label them as high risk ( like we do others who have taken a drug early in pegnancy).
    Last edit by eden on Dec 3, '06
  7. by   BSNtobe2009
    I have no medical training, but common sense would say it depends on the drug along with other factors of the mother. I would probably run this by an OB-GYN the next time you are at work or if you are in school, by your instructor.

    Birth control pills say very plainly in the instructions if you think you are pregnant you should and see the OB-GYN, and I would suspect they make the call.
  8. by   May_baby
    Overall, "accidently" continuing oral contraceptives while pregnant does not place patients in a higher risk category or significantly raise the risk of birth defects.

    Oral contraceptives in a typical dose do not function as abortifacients.

    *Emergency contraception (EC) is an extremely high and specially timed dose of oral contraceptives intended to prevent ovulation. EC has not been scientifically proved to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.

    The sites below offer basic information on the mechanism for oral contraceptives, contraindications, etc.

    Wikipedia page on Oral Contraceptives
    Oral contraceptive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Mayo Clinic information on Oral Contraceptives
    Birth control pill FAQ: From menstruation to menopause — and everything in between - MayoClinic.com

    Merck information on contraception
    Contraception: Family Planning: Merck Manual Professional
    Last edit by May_baby on Dec 3, '06
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It's hard to predict. I echo prmenrs. If you are seeking personal information, you really ought to see your own doctor/health care provider. As you know, no medical advice can be given here.

    Good luck.
  10. by   eden
    As I said before I really do NOT need medical advice and honestly I am not going to say it again because it is clear that no matter what I say people in general will still think I am looking for advice. I cannot make you think otherwise so no reason to keep typing the same thing *shrug*.

    I really wanted to generate discussion on the topic.

    Thanks May baby, those are some really good sources. That is sort of what I thought. So I'm not completelty off base.
  11. by   May_baby
    To add to the discussion (which is what Eden was trying to spark), it would be interesting to note the BMI (Body Mass Index) of many women who got pregnant while on the pill.

    Because the hormone levels in most currently marketed oral contraceptives are soooo low (in contrast the pills availabe in the 70's and 80's which were very high dose) a high BMI raises the risk that OC will not be effective.

    Think about dosage and body mass and remember that oral contraceptives cannot be adjusted to body mass. (Same goes for the patch and injectible methods)

    So a "Fluffy" body type or high BMI (30+) should = extensive counseling on backup methods.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The TRUTH is, it is hard to predict (what will happen if birth control fails) among various people. Some do better than others with birth control. I know of several people who had low to extremely-low BMI that got pregnant on the pill not once, but multiple times (friend had 3 pill babies and is expecting her first pill grandbaby next spring). Clearly, birth control, even with perfect use, fails people for some reason.

    Also the existance of Different "formulas" also muddies the clarity of the issue of birth control medications and their effect on pregnancy. Anecdotally, I have seen many, many "pill babies" who were normal by all appearances and did fine. It would appear, the daily use of the pill early in pregnancy is not necessarily abortifactant nor particularly harmful. But like I said, there are varying strengths and formulas. And people's physiology and chemistry vary greatly too.

    So what does this mean for a pregnancy "on the pill?" Well, like I said, there are a LOT of "pill babies" going back to the 1960s that are walking around, perfectly fine. Today's pill formulas are a lot less strong than those of the first generation, designed and marketed first in around 1960, like already mentioned before me. I think the answers are complicated, at least as much so as the complicated chemistry of each individual. Endocrinology is a very complicated and imperfect science, as well.

    The resources listed above are good for discussion. But like I said, very unpredictible. The main advice we give any patient, is if she suspects she is pregnant, to stop contraception immediately and get good prenatal care. Many, many people conceived on contraception are all about---and many women I know have had it happen. After all, statistically, the perfect use of contraception can still result in a 1% failure rate. THAT is a WHOLE LOT of people experiencing failure and getting pregnant, anyway.

    And one final note, we are sorry to ruffle your feathers, but we get a LOT of medical advice questions here, prefaced with "I am not looking for medical advice but".....and it turns out that way. From a legal standpoint, we at allnurses.com can't be too careful about the exchange of what even appears to be medical advice on a board of nurses. I am sure you understand and thank you.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 4, '06
  13. by   eden
    Yes I understand that from a legal standpoint you cannot give medical advice, it just irks me when the only response I get is "you seem to be concerned about yourself". I would first call a pharmacist then my physician (which is what I assume most women would do) but I cannot make an appointment to waste his time on a hypothtical question.

    Anyway beyond that we were just discussing today in a workshop the effectivness of medication in a woman with a high BMI. I also wonder that with these lower doses of hormone in BC, we will see a rise in the failure rate. My cousin got pregnant while on the mini pill. I have to wonder if the low dosage is why it failed because she had used the higer dose contraceptives successfully for 3 years without so much as a scare, she switches and boom she and her husband are expecting.
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Eden, I addressed your concern about the medical advice issue, as you can see. Now, perhaps we can move past that and on to a discussion about the issue of birth control and its effect on pregnancy. This is a worthy discussion, to be sure. I would welcome and love to hear from others who have information about this.

    Thanks.

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