Missed 3 birthcontrol pills, can I be pregnant?


Q: I started my 3rd pack of Lutera on the 2nd day of my period, I missed one tablet of Lutera during the 2nd week of the pills and 2 pills (non consecutive) the 3rd week of the pills. I had sex before and after the missed pills and my boyfriend did ejaculate inside each time since I thought I was protected. Since I started my pill one day late and missed 3 pills (not in a row) what are my chances of pregnancy? I also doubled up the next day of the missed pills like I was supposed to.

Symptoms:  Nausea

A:   Birth control pills protect from unwanted pregnancy only when take in recommended cycles, regularly, and under expert medical supervision. Irregular use may predispose one to an unwanted pregnancy, if intercourse occurs in one's fertile period (time around ovulation).

The fertile period of a woman who is not on pills is determined by analyzing her menstrual cycle with an ovulation calculator or fertility chart. Normally, the menstrual cycle is a 28 day cycle. During the 14th day after a period, the ovum is released. This process is called ovulation and the days 12 to 16 days after a period are said to be a woman’s most fertile period. Pills prevent ovulation and thus averts pregnancy. Ovulation, may, however, still occur if pills are missed. Sometimes this may also cause unscheduled vaginal bleeding.
Pills are hormonal, and they cause a so called "withdrawal bleeding" once stopped. The inner lining of uterus, endometrium, as it is called, is programmed to shed itself once the blood levels of certain hormones plunge at cyclic intervals, and this is the cause of menstrual bleeding. Similarly, stopping hormonal pills also herald shedding of endometrium, as explained.

To address the pregnancy concern you are advised to get a home pregnancy test done, if you miss a period or are close to it. A pregnancy test attempts to determine whether a woman is pregnant. Markers that indicate pregnancy are found in urine and blood, and pregnancy tests require sampling one of these substances. Most chemical tests for pregnancy look for the presence of the beta subunit of hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, in the blood or urine. hCG can be detected in urine or blood after implantation, which occurs six to twelve days after fertilization. Please consult your physician about the issue and discuss result of the pregnancy test at the doctor visit.

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