Early Signs of Pregnancy While on Birth Control

by Annie Mueller

No matter what type of birth control you use, you still have a chance of getting pregnant. Abstinence is the only 100-percent effective method of birth control. Rates of pregnancy occurring while on birth control range from 0.09 percent to 9 percent, depending on the type of birth control used, according to a chart provided by AmazingPregnancy.com. Birth control itself can make it difficult to know if you have become pregnant; some forms of birth control create pregnancy-like symptoms, and others cause the menstrual cycle to be irregular. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, go ahead and take a pregnancy test to find out for sure.

Lighter Period

Even if your period is irregular, watch for a change in duration (shorter) or intensity (much lighter bleeding), as both can indicate that you are experiencing implantation bleeding rather than a normal period. Implantation bleeding often occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the wall of the uterus, and can result in spotting or bleeding similar to a light period. Implantation bleeding, according to BabyMed.com, is one of the earliest noticeable signs of pregnancy; it occurs 8 to 10 days after fertilization.

Abdominal Cramps

This is a good sign to watch for while on birth control--if you are using a method that has mostly eliminated your menstrual cycle symptoms so that you don't normally experience menstrual cramping. Lower abdominal cramps can occur during implantation, the same time as implantation bleeding--around 8 to 10 days after fertilization, as stated by BabyMed.com. If you don't normally experience cramps and you have lower abdominal cramping as well as spotting, pregnancy may be a possibility.

Breast Tenderness

Check your breasts for the following possible symptoms of pregnancy: soreness of the breast itself, tenderness, sore nipples and/or swelling. The soreness may not be so extreme that you notice unless you gently press on your breast and nipple. Another symptom of pregnancy is a change in color of the nipple or areola (area directly around the nipple; however, according to BabyMed.com, this does not usually occur until after the 14th week of pregnancy.

Nausea

Nausea, whether or not it induces vomiting, and whether or not it occurs in the morning, is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Pregnancy.org reports that nausea may be experienced as early as one week into the pregnancy.

Fatigue

Extreme weariness is another very common and very early sign of pregnancy that can be experienced whether you are on birth control or not. According to Pregnancy.org, the higher levels of progesterone can cause your body temperature to go up, which can cause you to feel sluggish early on in pregnancy. If you don't usually experience dramatic changes in your energy throughout your cycle, pay attention to sudden drops in your energy level, an overwhelming sense of weariness and unexplained mental or physical tiredness. This could be a sign that your body is working hard to create a living space for a new baby.

About the Author

Annie Mueller is a professional writer and blogger. Since 2003 she has written extensively on small business, finances, parenting, education and personal growth, and has been published on Financial Edge and many other websites. Mueller attended Missouri Baptist College and earned her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in English from Mississippi State University.

Photo Credits

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