Can Birth Control Give You Pregnancy Symptoms? Here’s The Real Science Behind It

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re in the bathroom, sitting and waiting for the longest three minutes of your life to pass. You’ve just taken a pregnancy test. Why? Because you’ve missed your period, you’re nauseous, your boobs feel like you’ve been smacking ‘em around all night, and you’re exhausted. All tell-tale signs that you are full-on preggo. But here’s the thing: You’re on the freaking pill! As the seconds tick by, you start to wonder if maybe there is something other than sperm to blame for your current predicament. Can birth control give you pregnancy symptoms? You may think you’re grasping at straws, but actually, that is a totally legitimate question. That’s because the way the pill works is actually by tricking your body into thinking it’s already pregnant.

First off, let’s talk about how the pill actually works. Most oral contraceptives contain synthetic estrogen and progestin. These stabilize your hormones and prevent the estrogen peak at the middle of your cycle that tells your pituitary gland not to send the message to your ovaries that it’s time to release an egg. No egg means no possibility of pregnancy. Great stuff. But with all those additional hormones in your bod working to post a “no vacancy” sign on your uterus, it’s also quite possible for you to experience some common but misleading pregnancy-like symptoms. Such as…

1. A Missed Period Or Spotting

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Oh boy, this one is the biggie. If there’s one thing we all know about pregnancy detection, it’s that a missed period is the equivalent of a flashing “baby on board” neon sign. But if you’re taking oral contraceptives, it may not be time to panic after all. What may seem like a missed period or spotting caused by implantation bleeding (some bleeding can happen when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining), according to Health Line, may actually be because the uterus did not create a thick lining when there was no egg released. When in doubt, take a…

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