I've been on the pill for a year now and take it perfectly, at the same time every day. However up until now we've been using condoms as well for added protection.
Last week we decided that we'd like to see what it would be like without a condom, as I am so reliable at taking my pill, we are definitely not at risk from STIs, and it'd be an experience for us to share.
Even though I was completely confident beforehand and realise that the majority of women on the pill will have unprotected sex and not become pregnant, I have suddenly become extremely paranoid, imagining pregnancy symptoms that I know couldn't even be showing yet if they are real.
I'm worried that because it was the first day back on an active after my 7 day pill free break I might be more susceptible as I have less hormones left in my system?
So my questions are, is the pill any less effective just after the pill free break? And also how soon could I take a pregnancy test? Do I have to wait 2 more weeks for my next withdrawal bleed?
Thank you very much!
Posts: 24 | From: UK | Registered: Mar 2008
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By the time you get to your withdrawal bleed, your pills have already done their work to prevent pregnancy by making your body an inhospitable place for sperm to meet up with an egg and implant. Oral contraceptives are designed to protect you for the entire month, so while your hormone levels will change throughout the month, that does not equal a lack of protection--assuming that you are taking your pills consistently and correctly (which it sounds like you are). For more info about how pills work even when you're taking the placebo pills, we have an article about that right here.
Combined oral contraceptives are 99.7% effective in preventing pregnancies if taken perfectly (no missed pills, taken at just about the same time daily). That's without an additional method backing it up, though if you perfectly use condoms PLUS perfectly take your pills then that would bump it up to a 99.9% effective rate.
So what you're describing here does not sound like a significant risk of pregnancy to me. However, if you would like to take a pregnancy test to feel more assured, you'll want to wait 10-14 days after the risk and then test. For more information about pregnancy testing how-to's, check out Peeing on a Stick: All About Pregnancy Tests.
Finally, I know you mentioned that you and your partner are "definitely not at risk from STIs", but I would still encourage both of you to go and get tested, perhaps together! Not all STIs are only transmitted sexually, and so we usually recommend that before folks go without condoms that each of you get tested, continue to use barriers for 6 months, and then test again. If both screens come out clean that second time and you have been in a monogamous relationship (it's ok if you haven't been, but that would complicate the sexual safety and screening if not everyone was using protection), then you can talk about stopping condom use.
Either way, it sounds as if you don't have a significant pregnancy risk right now. Hopefully this will ease your mind a little and you can go ahead and test if you need to do that. In the mean time, stay safe!
Posts: 384 | From: Philadelphia, PA | Registered: Sep 2008
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