Every year, lots of women get pregnant despite using contraception. Unplanned pregnancies always come as a bit of a shock, but are there any health risks to your baby when you were using birth control when you conceived? Let's take a look at some contraceptive methods, and what the consequences are if you get pregnant using them.
Getting pregnant with an IUD
Intrauterine devices are generally considered to be rather effective, especially Mirena IUDs which also emit hormones. Still, it is possible to get pregnant with an IUD in place. Such pregnancies are much more likely to be ectopic (usually a tubal pregnancy), but a pregnancy that did implant in the uterine wall carries its own particular risks and dilemmas. Removing a coil during pregnancy carries the risks of miscarriage, and leaving it in place is also rather risky. One woman says: "I am 15 weeks pregnant, IUD still in place, and my entire pregnancy will be high-risk since it was too late to remove it by the time I found out I was pregnant."
Pregnancy and the birth control pill
Pregnancy and the birth control pill is a much studied subject perhaps because quite a few women get pregnant while they are on the pill? Most studies suggest that there is no special risk involved, though all doctors recommend that women who are pill users and suspect they are pregnant stop taking the pill until they confirm or rule out pregnancy. Some studies have found a link between early labor and birth control use during pregnancy, and another study says female babies have a higher risk of being born with genital abnormalities if their mothers used the pill when they got pregnant.
If you are using one of the other hormonal birth control methods, like NuvaRing, and you suspect that you could be pregnant, should also always consult with a doctor right away. Getting pregnant while using contraceptives is always a tricky experience, and we wish you all the strength in the world if it happens to you!