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I started the Pill in August. I have never missed a pill, I may have taken it a few hours off but nothing major. I have experienced typical Pill symptoms such as breast swelling and tenderness, bloating, some headaches, etc and my periods have been very regular the last two months so I have assumed that the Pill was doing it's job. I have just started my 3rd pack of the Pill after my last withdrawal bleed. On that day of the 1st pill of the 3rd pack I experienced some light spotting for maybe two days (could this have been implantation?) Since then, for the past two weeks, I have been having terrible back pains, some cramping, leg pains all over, underarm pain, and headaches. I have had "unprotected" sex maybe 3 times since i have started the Pill, and also used withdrawal method.

I am very concerned because I have never felt lower back pains like this right after my period for such an extended amount of time, or constant annoying headaches. I am really, really, really, worried that I may be pregnant even though I am on the Pill and I just had my period 2 weeks ago, because everyone says it is still possible. I guess I shouldn't have assumed the Pill was working and used a condom too. I feel so dumb. Please let me know what you think. I took a pregnancy test this week and it was negative, could it have been too early to tell?

What do you think the chances are? I keep trying to tell myself it's all in my head, but my symptoms tell me other wise!

My cycles are 28 days long and normal bc of the pill
August 24- Period
September 9 - Sex
September 21- Period
September 26- Started new pack, sex, and then spotting of drops for two days

September 26-Present - Back pains, some cramping, leg pains all over, underarm pain, and headaches, runny nose.

Thank you for your time.


Firstly, the pill is by far the most reliable form of contraception devised, by all studies that I have seen.

Condoms are less reliable, more prone to failure due to carelessness, rupture etc.

They do however assist in preventing STD given they are a physical barrier to exchanging fluids.

Pill + condom is wearing a bullet-proof vest inside a tank, not wrong, but generally not considered necessary.

So no, you have not been stupid.

Nature, however, is pretty determined when it comes to keeping the human race going, so pregnancies do occur even while on the pill.

I even have a friend who was declared clinically incapable of bearing children, but that didn't stop nature giving her an unexpected ectopic pregnancy (dangerous, obviously), and a healthy daughter now turned 16.

Pregnancy is a big deal in the west for many reasons, both having children unexpectedly, and being unable to have children. Ultimately, trying to cheat nature, take the pleasure and not the risk, is a game we don't always win, and for the sake of the human race, that's perhaps just as well.

Appreciating that as far as your DNA, genetics, biology and nature are concerned, you are simply a baby carrier in waiting, and accepting that, you can then make an informed choice as to whether the pleasure is worth the risk, if you see it that way. You drive, ski, fly, walk, ride, shop, always aware that you could spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair, but generally that causes far less concern to be helpless, than to be faced with caring and raising someone else, which is generally considered after the fact to be one of the few genuine joys and achievements a couple can have in life.

You've clearly taken responsible steps in managing the risk, but it can never be eliminated, except by eliminating intercourse entirely.

The one concern that I would suggest you investigate further is the considerable pain that you are experiencing. At the very least go see a doctor to discuss the issue. And second guessing nature is, difficult as it may be deal with, generally a waste of time. An alternate strategy might be to appreciate that you've been sensible so far, that you'll be sensible in the future, and in the meantime you'll take the actions appropriate to ensure your well being.

If you also take a little time to consider the positive actions you can take to prepare for the day you wish to become a mother, or are faced with that choice for real, you may be a little less concerned next time (or even now), as you will then have more confidence that you can deal with whatever happens.