Everyone reacts differently to the news of an unexpected pregnancy. While some might spend time processing their emotions, others seek immediate action. If you are worried about being able to afford the cost of abortion or accessing abortion, you might even have considered using birth control pills to cause an abortion. Even though a drastic measure might feel right in the moment, it’s vital to take prescription and over-the-counter pills as directed for their intended use for your own safety. Read more to learn about birth control pills, how they work, their risks, and signs of an overdose.
What is considered birth control?
Birth control is any method you use to prevent pregnancy. Some of the methods include barrier contraceptives (condoms), surgical methods (tubal ligation or vasectomy), and hormonal birth control, including the birth control pill, patch, or injections.
The pill is the most common form of hormonal birth control, and most birth control methods have an effective rate of 80% to 99%. However, it’s still possible for any form of birth control to fail and lead to pregnancy, especially if you miss a dose or don’t use a method correctly.
How does the birth control pill work?
With birth control pills, there are a couple steps that take place to prevent pregnancy. According to Cleveland Clinic, hormones in birth control pills prevent pregnancy by:
- Stopping or reducing ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary).
- Thickening cervical mucus to keep sperm from entering the uterus.
- Thinning the lining of the uterus to reduce the chance of a fertilized egg attaching.
How many birth control pills do you take?
The type and dosage of the birth control pill depends on the directions of a medical professional. But typically, you would take one pill per day and each pack would have a month of pills. Most birth control pills are low dosage and contain a combination of estrogen and progestin. Women normally take 21 active pills followed by either a 7-day break or 7 pills without hormones.
Can several birth control pills cause an abortion?
While birth control is not an abortion-inducing drug, there are risks to pregnancy when taking birth control while pregnant.
Taking several or just one birth control pill while unknowingly pregnant could cause low birth weight for the baby, preterm birth, or congenital urinary tract abnormalities, according to Mayo Clinic. There is also a chance for ectopic pregnancy if you become pregnant while taking a progestin-only birth control (minipill).
Signs of Overdosing on Birth Control
If you did try to end your pregnancy with multiple birth control pills, you may experience signs of an overdose. Medline Plus lists some symptoms of taking too many birth control pills at one time:
- Breast tenderness
- Discolored urine
- Heavy vaginal bleeding (2 to 7 days after the overdose)
- Emotional changes
- Nausea and vomiting
If you have these symptoms, please call the Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
Risk of Taking Birth Control While Pregnant
If you think you’re pregnant, it’s best to stop taking birth control. Studies show even though your baby is not at risk for abnormalities, any hormone medication you take makes its way to your baby. (healthline).
If you think you might be pregnant, visit Options Medical Clinic for free and confidential pregnancy testing and an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy and move forward. Schedule an appointment today.