Side Effects of Skipped Birth Control

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Taking birth control pills on a daily basis is not always an easy thing to remember. If you have ever been on birth control pills, than more than likely you have accidentally forgotten to take one. When you forget to take your birth control pill, there are a few things that can happen to the body; some of them have bigger consequences than others. Some of the effects of missing a birth control pill are simple, physical repercussions, while other consequences could mean an unplanned pregnancy.

Identification

Birth control pills are taken on a daily basis to prevent pregnancies. They are also referred to as oral contraception. It is a pill that contains hormones that alters the way the body works. It controls how the ovaries and the uterus work with the changes in hormone levels associated with the pill. It is the most common form of birth control, and although millions of women are on them, women can still get pregnant while taking them, especially if they are not taken correctly.

Function

Birth control pills, despite the brand or strength, work by preventing the ovaries from releasing any eggs. Each month, during a woman's ovulation period, the ovaries are set to release eggs. If an egg gets fertilized by a sperm, a pregnancy begins. With the birth control pill, if taken correctly, this cycle is stopped. Ultimately, if eggs are not released by the ovaries, pregnancy cannot happen. Birth control pills also work to thicken the cervical mucus, which will make it difficult for a pregnancy to take place because conditions are not right for a sperm to enter the uterus.

How to Take Them

Birth control pills are designed to be taken every day. Users take one pill a day for 21 days. Some packs of birth control pills contain seven days of what is known as "spacer pills." These are taken after the 20-day regimen and have no hormones in them. They are simply designed to be taken during menstruation to keep track of your cycle and keep you on track. Some birth control pills come in packs of three straight months of hormone-containing pills. These are designed to give a woman only four periods a year. Birth control pills should also be taken at the same time every day. This helps to keep the hormone levels at a constant and consistent level.

The Effects

Skipping a birth control pill has its consequences. It does not only increase your chances for a pregnancy, but it can cause physical effects as well. Skipping a birth control pill means that your menstrual cycle gets out of sync. It can confuse the body and cause something referred to as breakthrough bleeding. For most women, this can mean getting cramps like during a normal period, spotting or even having heavier bleeding resembling a normal period. Some women may develop tender breasts, or an array of symptoms such as nausea or fatigue.

Considerations

When a woman misses a birth control pill, there is a certain protocol that is required to get back on track. What you should do in the event of a missed pill depends on the medication you take and where you are in your cycle when you miss the dose. Refer to this page to determine what to do in the event of a missed pill.

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