I had an abortion about a month ago. Out of curiosity, I recently took a pregnancy test and it said positive…

…Three days after the abortion, I started on the pill. I take it every day but not at the same time. Sometimes I forget but take it a couple of hours late.  I had unprotected sex two weeks after the abortion.  Is there any way I could have gotten pregnant?

During pregnancy, the body produces high levels of human gonadotropic hormone, or HCG.  Urine pregnancy tests work by measuring whether or not HCG is present.  Because HCG levels rise quickly at the beginning of a pregnancy, HCG can still be present in the blood and urine for up to six weeks after a miscarriage or abortion procedure. This can cause a false positive on pregnancy tests.

However, if you’re not ready to be pregnant, it’s important that you take your pill within the same hour every day. Taking your pill late makes it less effective at preventing pregnancy! If you’re having trouble remembering to take your pill, consider other birth control options, like the patch, the ring, the shot, Implanon, or IUDs, which don’t require you to remember quite as often (or at all!).

And consider wearing condoms 100% even though you’re on a hormonal birth control method. Condoms can help prevent infection; they also serve as a great back-up birth control. (Check out this great question from the archives: “Can you still get pregnant on birth control?”)  Visit Teen Clinic if you want to talk with a practitioner about how you can best prevent unintended pregnancy.