Signs of Pregnancy on Birth Control

Birth control pills almost work perfectly to prevent pregnancy, but they may sometimes fail to prevent the inevitable. There is always 1-2% chance of becoming pregnant even after taking birth control pills. When this happens, you will experience some signs and symptoms. The most obvious sign in all cases is a missed period. Keep reading to learn more about how to tell if you are pregnant even after using birth control.

10 Signs of Pregnancy on Birth Control

As mentioned, you will miss your period if you are pregnant. The problem is that if you are already using some birth control method, your period may not be that regular. Sometimes, you may have period that are so light that they feel like implantation bleeding. It means that if you are using birth control, a missed period is not always the most reliable way to tell if you're pregnant.

1. Exhaustion

Do you take enough sleep and still find yourself tired and exhausted throughout the day? It could be because you are pregnant. Your body begins to produce more progesterone after the egg is fertilized and implanted in the uterus. The process can make you feel sleepy during the day.

2. Nausea

Do you wake up in the morning with an urge to throw up? Feeling nauseous, especially in the morning, is yet another common sign of pregnancy. This usually happens after a couple of weeks of fertilization of the egg. You may also experience nausea during the second half of your first pregnancy trimester.

3. Abdominal Cramps

One of many common signs of pregnancy on birth control is abdominal pain and cramps. You will experience cramps mainly in the lower part of your abdomen. Also called uterine cramps, you experience them after the implantation of the egg in the uterus. These cramps are more common during the first few weeks after conception.

4. Weight Fluctuations

Have you noticed unusual weight fluctuations just recently? This could be because you are pregnant. Your body releases several types of hormones in pregnancy that can make you gain excessive weight – or you may even lose some pounds early in your pregnancy. A missed period with weight fluctuations usually calls for further investigation.

5. Light Bleeding

Implantation bleeding is another common sign of pregnancy. It is usually the outcome of the egg being attached to the lining of your uterus. You may notice a light bleeding in the first week after the egg is fertilized.

6. Change in Basal Temperature

If there is an increase in your basal temperature and you have missed your period, this could be another sign of pregnancy. You are more likely to be pregnant if your basal temperature increases and stays elevated for days or even weeks. You may need to confirm with a pregnancy test even if you are on birth control pills.

7. Breast Tenderness

When you touch your breast, do you feel tenderness, soreness, or swelling? Are your nipples sore as well? This usually means you are pregnant. Along with light soreness and swelling, you may also notice a change in color of the areola or the nipple itself.

8. Fatigue

Extreme weariness is common during the early days of pregnancy. This can be among the signs of pregnancy on birth control. Your body produces progesterone during pregnancy that increases your body temperature. With an increase in temperature, you may feel sluggish during the day. Some women do feel dramatic changes in energy throughout their cycle, but others do not experience any serious changes. Know how it is for you because unexplained physical or mental tiredness can very well be one of the signs of pregnancy.

9. Mood Swings

Do you wonder why an emotionally stable person like you has suddenly started losing it? Your mood swings may indicate you are pregnant. Any sudden changes in mood may mean you have conceived even though you are on birth control. Sudden change of mood is the outcome of the increased level of specific hormones in your body.

10. Sensitive to Smells

Along with mood swings, you will become extremely sensitive to smells in early pregnancy. Some smells will even make you feel nauseous and you may even start vomiting. Sometimes, your body will react to gentle, delicate smells that you were in love with once.

Do Birth Control Pills Cause Birth Defects?

Experts believe both combination birth control pills and progestin-only birth control pills do not increase the risk of birth defects. However, some studies have found a connection between the use of pills and a risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, or urinary tract abnormalities.

You also need to bear in mind that if you are noticing signs of pregnancy on birth control, you may end up having ectopic pregnancy. In ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg does not implant itself inside the uterus but goes in fallopian tube instead. Moreover, it is easy to mistake side effects of progestin-only pills as pregnancy signs – it is common to experience breast tenderness, nausea, and irregular menstrual bleeding while using these pills.


Still, it is a good idea to be on the safe side and take a home pregnancy test as soon as you experience any previously mentioned signs of pregnancy on birth control. In case you cannot use a home pregnancy test, you should stop taking your pills until you know for sure if you are pregnant or not. Using another birth control method such as condoms will improve your chances of preventing pregnancy. Do not forget to talk to your doctor if you think you took your pills before you knew you have conceived.

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