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Some women who use birth control become pregnant without even knowing it. Many continue to take their birth control pills until they begin to have pregnancy symptoms. Doctors recommend that a woman stop taking her birth control pills if she believes she may be pregnant. They should take a pregnancy test if they begin to have symptoms.

Taking birth control pills while pregnant can affect not only you, but the health of your unborn child. You could have a miscarriage and miss out on your much needed prenatal care. Here are some of the potential side effects of taking birth control while pregnant.

Concerns of Miscarriage:

Using an oral contraceptive during early pregnancy usually won’t cause a miscarriage. Never induce a miscarriage with birth control. It’s not been known as an effective way to terminate a pregnancy. Nor is it a decent way either.

Birth Defects:

The Mayo Clinic states there is no scientific link proving that a woman’s child will have birth defects if the mother stays on her birth control pills in the early stages of pregnancy. Both estrogen and progesterone, the hormones found in birth control, have not been linked to any certain type of birth defect. However, birth control pills containing only progesterone have been known to cause an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.

Pregnancy Symptoms:

Birth control pills don’t cover up pregnancy symptoms such as….

• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Headaches
• Breast Swelling
• Breast Tenderness

However, these same symptoms can also be associated with PMS or a normal menstrual cycle. If these symptoms occur without a period then a pregnancy test should be done. If you have taken your birth control pill normally and you’re period is late, chances are you’re not pregnant and you should continue with the pill. Some birth control pills actually make you miss your cycle. However, if you’re concerned, you can take an at home pregnancy test just to make sure. Birth control hormones don’t affect pregnancy tests since the test is looking for the hCg hormone. This hormone isn’t found in birth control pills.

Side Effects While Pregnant:

Pregnant women taking birth control pills usually have more pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bloating and fatigue than those who are not on the pill. Many women ignore these symptoms because they are similar to PMS. It’s best not to ignore any symptom. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor.

Accidentally Ending a Pregnancy:

Accidentally ending a pregnancy can’t be done by taking your regular dose of birth control pills. The South Carolina Emergency Contraceptive Initiative claims that you could use a large dose of birth control pills as emergency contraceptive. However, it may only last a few days after you’ve had unprotected sex and not after the pregnancy test you took came back positive. If this is something you plan on trying, consult a doctor or pharmacist first so you can be sure to get the right dosage.

Children are a blessing, but if you’re not ready to be a parent, then birth control is a must. However, be careful when choosing the right birth control and listen to your body. It will let you know if you are pregnant or just having a reaction from the pill. Either way, it’s best to consult your doctor.

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