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Taking the Pill to Cause a Miscarriage Does Not Work

Q: I'm 17 years old and I just found out that I'm pregnant. I'm really scared and not ready. One of my friends informed me that if I take the birth control pill it would cause me to have a miscarriage. I was wondering if this was true. I know it's wrong and everything but if I were older and didn't have school and other things to worry about I wouldn't even consider it. If I start taking it how long would it take if it did cause a miscarriage?

Dr. Donnica: I am so sorry to hear about your unintended pregnancy. I can understand how scared you are. As difficult as this situation is, I highly recommend that you speak with one of your parents for advice and counseling. In addition, I strongly recommend that you see a physician as soon as possible to discuss your options and your medical condition. In large part, your options for continuing this pregnancy will depend upon how far along you are.

Unfortunately, your friend has given you entirely incorrect information about the birth control pill being able to cause a miscarriage and I hope you have not acted upon this. What she is confused by is that there is a course of birth control pills called "emergency contraception" which can be given within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. If you already know for sure that you are pregnant, you are long past the time when this can be effective. Emergency contraception is useful in cases of rape, contraceptive failure, or failure to use contraception. It should not be used to try to induce a miscarriage or for regular contraception.

With best regards,
Donnica Moore, MD
President, DrDonnica.com

Created: 7/27/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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