birth control question

Questions proper:

If a woman were to manage to get pregnant whilst taking oral contraceptives would she miss her next pseudo-period, or would her body just kinda chug along as it had been doing on the pill and lose a token amount of blood?

I read somewhere out in netland that your body is sort of made dormant, so to speak, and it takes seven days to put to sleep (with the pill) or to wake it up. If that were true, wouldn’t it be possible to get pregnant the first few days of your new pack? (After seven blanks, or seven days off the pill). I must have misread, or maybe someone picked a poor metaphor.

Expansion of thought:

If she did still have that pseudo-period, she would then, logically keep on with the pills. It must be reasonably common for a woman who gets pregnant on the pill to do so early enough in the month that a significant number of pills are taken, and I’ve read that theres no link between this and birth defects…but has anyone ever continued on, only noticing when she gets big!? (Neglecting Oprah’s guests, I mean, anyone uhm, (Sorry) “real.”)

I guess I just find it interesting that soooo many of us ladies take the pill without ever wondering about the whatifs. I’ve never been pregnant, so I sincerly apologise if I’m being flippant. I was first prescibed the pill in the US after being married a while and I was given absolutely no info at all, just take it same bat time, same bat channel. It was horrible. Many of my friends who went on after 18 or 20 had the same experience.

Another amazing thing is that fact that here in Britian, my pills are free, in the US they weren’t. What the hell is that about.

Cheers, and I rather hope I’ve posted this in the right place!

Oh, pooh. Btw, I AM NOT PREGNANT. Repeat, I am not pregnant. Not even a little tiny bit. This is how rumours get started. The train on platform 9 calls at London Paddington ONLY.

It’s been awhile since I knew all of this (15 years or so) but remember that the Pill tricks a woman’s body into thinking it is preganant by adjusting her hormones. This is why the last seven days of the pill packet are sugar pills (or whatever…just pills that do nothing except act as placeholders so a woman can keep her routine). With the absence of hormones on that last seven days the woman’s body is free to think it is not pregnant and she has her period. Should the woman actually become pregnant during the time she is taking the pill then going on to the sugar pills doesn’t help. Her body itself maintains hormone levels and so she should not have a period.

I realize that a sort of false period can happen in women who are pregnant so take this more as the broad strokes than applicable to every single case. Further, I am not a doctor so take what I’ve said with a largish grain of salt and wait for a person moer knowledgable to confirm or debunk.

I was informed that if you get pregnant while on the pill you will still miss your period, and all anecdotal evidence I have heard (of women who did become pregnant while on the pill) confirms this.

This does not take into account women who get spotting or bleeding while pregnant due to other factors that they mistake for a period, but that can happen whether you are on the pill or not.

That is also my understanding of how the pill works - although its been a while since I’ve looked it up!

The hormones you are given (progesterone and estrogen derivatives) are mimics of the hormones that naturally maintain your body in a state of pregnancy. I call them mimics, because these compounds are designed to behave in a similar fashion, but to take more time to metabolize, so that the effects are much longer (meaning you only take a pill once a day). The reason for taking the pill at the same time every day is simply to prevent the dose from the previous pill from reaching a too-low level before you take the next dose. The dipping of hormone level in your system is, IIRC, what could trigger ovulation (less estrogen at that time), and when extended as in the last week of the pack, causes menstruation (less progesterone).

The levels of hormone delivered by birth control is actually lower than what true pregnancy results in - but it is high enough to fool the body nonetheless. Differeneces in individual women are what causes the need for different doses to be available, and for different hormone derivatives to be used. Not to mention the fact that there is lots of money to be made in the manufacture of birth control pills and other methods!

As for the cost of the pills in the US verus the UK - The UK has socialised healthcare, the US doesn’t. Canada has socialised healthcare, too, but we do have to pay a portion of the price of the pills unless a supplementary health care plan covers it (YAY! for my Student Health Plan!) I do not know enough about any system to go into that in details, but that is the root of it, at least.

BTW, All pill packs come with a rather extensive fact sheet AND the pharmacy gives you a second one so I can’t see how anyone could fail to understand the risks involved. When was this? have times changed so very much?

Don’t even get me started on having to pay for them… I know a few states had to sue Insurance companies to get them to cover BCP… but they covered Viagra no problemo. (grrrrr smiley)

Also, back to a different part of your OP, it’s not a pseudo-period, it’s a real one, your body shedding the unusued uterine lining. So, if you were pregnant you would miss it, just like normal, because the uterus would be… in use… for lack of a better phrase. If a woman often has “spotting” (drips of blood) during the middle of the pill cycle, the dosage needs to be adjusted.