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Is It Possible to See Signs of Pregnancy While on Birth Control?

There are many birth control methods out there. All of these birth control methods claim themselves to be 99% effective when ideally used.

The keyword here is ‘perfectly,’ which means the birth control method is taken daily. Not all birth control methods are equally effective. The rate of efficiency depends on the birth control method one is opting for. Even with the high percentage of avoiding pregnancy using birth control methods, it is still possible to see signs of pregnancy while using birth control methods. This failure of the birth control method to stop the pregnancy might come from the loss in the use of the birth control method in the first place.

What is Birth Control?

Any procedure, drug, or device used to prevent an unplanned pregnancy is birth control. Women can pick from a variety of birth control options. Some methods are more effective than others in preventing pregnancy. The choice of birth control is determined by your health, desire to have children now or in the future, and need to avoid sexually transmitted infections.

Signs of Pregnancy & Birth Control

Many of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy are also seen with a person on some birth control. Hence, it is possible to see signs of pregnancy even if you are on birth control. Many characteristics which are the same as the side effects of using birth controls are –

  • Nausea – Nausea is a big sign of early pregnancy; early morning sickness indicates sick. However, the same sign of pregnancy is shared by birth control methods. Any birth control method can cause you nausea or early morning sickness.


  • Headaches and Fatigues – One of the most famous early signs of pregnancy is headaches and muscle fatigue. However, a person on birth control pills can face headaches and muscle fatigues as well. They are a side effect of using birth control pills. These birth control pills can lead to extreme levels of tiredness and headaches.


  • Missing Periods – Missing periods are one of the signs of pregnancy. However, the consumption or use of specific birth control methods can make periods lighter. At times, the light bleeding caused by the birth control method is confused with the bleeding caused when an egg that is fertilized plants itself in the uterus. At times, missing the period, a sign of pregnancy is often confused with the effects of birth control methods.


  • Tenderness of Breast – With pregnancy, as time goes on, breasts can become tender when touched. Birth control methods such as pills can cause this sign of pregnancy as well.


There are many signs of pregnancy and birth control methods that overlap each other. To avoid confusion, it is best to take a pregnancy test to determine if you are pregnant or not instead of looking out for these signs.

Things that might cause these symptoms 

Other than side effects of birth control methods and pregnancy, there are many different medical conditions and diseases which can cause the same symptoms, such as –

  • STDs – Birth control methods only work against unwanted pregnancies; they do not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STDs can cause bleeding and nausea, signs of pregnancy, or side effects of birth control methods.


  • Cysts – The unknown growths which are observed on the uterus or ovary are called cysts. Cysts can cause bleeding, and other symptoms and signs of pregnancy and effects of birth control such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches are also observed because of cysts. It is essential to visit a doctor if you get these symptoms.


  • Cancers – Specific types of cancers, particularly endometrial cancer and related types, are at times confused with signs of pregnancy or side effects of birth control. These types of cancer are nausea, vomiting, bleeding, pain, muscle fatigue, and headaches.


Different Birth Control Methods 

Birth control measures are still one of the best ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies. As mentioned earlier, the effectiveness of different types of birth control methods depends on the technique itself. Some of the few popular birth control methods are –

  • Hormonal Method – This birth control method works by making a release of progestin or a mix of synthetic estrogen and progestin. This birth control method prevents ovulation and thins the uterus line, which makes it harder for the embryo to implant itself.


  • Barrier Method – Pregnancy can also be avoided using the barrier method. Different types of barriers are diaphragms and a sponge that can be used as barriers.


The Risks Associated with Birth Control Methods

Birth control methods that prevent unwanted pregnancies do not come without their drawbacks and risks. Birth control pills and many other ways have severe side effects on the body, which can be harmful in the long run. Additionally, these birth control methods do not provide guaranteed protection against pregnancies. If one becomes pregnant while taking birth control pills, your risk of having an ectopic pregnancy increases. This can be life-threatening, and you should immediately consult with a doctor if you are at risk for the same.

Preventing Failures of Pills   

Birth control pills are one of the most used birth control methods. There are many things you can do to avoid the failures of these pills and avoid unwanted pregnancy –

  • Consuming the pills at the same time daily.
  • Having a packet of new pills 4-5 days before the old one runs out of pills
  • Consuming pills that you have missed as soon as possible
  • Use apps that can track your pill usage and remind you about having pills on a schedule


Birth control methods are effective at avoiding pregnancies. However, there are many side effects of these methods, the same as signs or symptoms of pregnancy. To avoid any confusion, if you find yourself with these symptoms and signs, it is better to take a pregnancy test or consult your doctor.

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