Medical Q&As

The pill - undiagnosed pregnancy?

What happens if you think you might be pregnant but continue to take the pill?

This is not an uncommon occurrence and all the evidence suggests that continuing to take the pill inadvertently does not constitute a risk to the foetus or the mother. Sometimes a woman could commence taking the pill for the first time without realising that she is already in the early stages of pregnancy. Alternatively she might resume taking the pill after a period of abstinence and not realise that she has conceived. Another relatively common scenario is for the woman not to observe the seven-day rule if she missed taking her pill, or if she did not adhere to the same rule while suffering from gastroenteritis. She may even have failed to take additional contraceptive precautions while taking antibiotics. In each of these scenarios the woman simply stops taking the pill as soon as she is aware of the fact that she is pregnant. It is not necessary to continue to complete taking the whole pack. There is no risk of a withdrawal bleed in such a situation.