Can you still get pregnant if you’re on birth control?

This is a fabulous question. The answer is yes—and here’s why.

First, no hormonal birth control is 100% effective.  Even the most effective methods on the market—like IUDs and Implanon—prevent pregnancy only 99.9% of the time.  In very rare cases, someone becomes pregnant even though they are using a method correctly.

Second, sometimes people make mistakes with their birth control.  They forget to take a pill, put their next patch on late, or leave the NuvaRing out for more than 2 hours at a time.  While all hormonal birth control methods can be up to 99.9% effective, most are about 92% effective with typical use (97% for the Depo shot).

So why bother at all? Hormonal methods are still the most effective, reversible way to be sexually active without pregnancy. When used correctly, the risk of pregnancy is very small. And there are a few things you can do to help your method be the most effective possible.

First, use a condom every time you have sex. Not only do condoms prevent sexually transmitted infections, they’ll also act as a pregnancy prevention backup.

Second, choose a method that fits your lifestyle. Many females are great at using The Pill—but plenty aren’t! If you have trouble remembering to take a pill at the same time every day or change a patch once a week, consider using longer-term methods like Implanon or IUDs. Once these methods are inserted, they prevent pregnancy for 3-10 years—and you don’t have to remember a thing!

Third, talk to your partner about birth control. When both of you are focused on preventing pregnancy, it’s more likely to happen!

Teen Clinic offers free or low-cost birth control and consultations. If you’d like to talk to a provider about changing your method, give us a call soon.  Thanks for keeping yourself safe and healthy!