"Accidental" Pregnancy?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
"Accidental" Pregnancy?
48
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 2:09pm
Just curious, I've heard/read about woman who say they "found themselves pregnant" or they "accidentally" got pregnant. Aside of a condomn breaking or a cervical cap slipping, what other methods of birth control were used that failed? I mean, talking to most women who've taken the pill and it failed, I'd factor the failure rate is greater than what the packing information states!

Seriously, if you weren't planning on having children, you were using BC, yes? I am confused as to how a pregnancy can be a "surprise". Either you are using BC or you aren't. If you aren't using BC and you get pregnant, where is the surprise?

I had this conversation with my SIL. She "found herself pregnant" two months before her wedding and was sincerely shocked. I asked her, "Were you using BC?"

Her answer, "No. But we weren't planning on getting pregnant."

ME: "Well, if you weren't using birth control, how can you be shocked at getting pregnant?"

Her answer: "I didn't think I could get pregnant. We've never used birth control."

Um, okay. Ah, let's see, herpes, hep c, other STD's, HIV, oh never mind.

If you had an "accidental" or unplanned pregnancy, was it due to a BC failure or other factors.

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 10:58am
I got pregnant with DS (our 2nd child) while on birth control. We were on vacation, and I got a bladder infection. The dr on the ship didn't speak much English (should have been hint #1, but I was HURTING), and gave me an antibiotic, which of coarse nullified my BC. So when hubby and I had sex a couple nights later (was obviously feeling better then), I got pregnant. I am pretty much a healthy person, so I hadn't been on antibiotics in YEARS (before I started BC), so I really didn't know about the anti-biotic/BC thing. Now I tell EVERYONE who I know is on it! lol

I was TERRIFIED b/c I had a 9 month old at the time I got pregnant. We hadn't planned on more kids for another couple years. But it turned out to be perfect for us and our family. My husband was injured 2 months after conception, and well, let's just say that his injuries and surgeries have prevented us from having normal marital relations. not to mention, the "female" issues that have been prevelant in my family for at least the last 4 generations have shown up in me as well, and in all likelyhood, I will have to have a hysterectomy soon.

Not only that, but my son and daughter are soooo close at only 18 months apart. It has been perfect. Son is just one grade behind daughter, and they are the best of friends. At 4 & 6, I still go in to wake them up in the AM, and find them together in one or the others beds. They run to each other before us if they are scared. I LOVE that!!! I can't imagine what I would have missed without that BC failure!

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 11:25am
This is how accidental preganancies occur while on oral contraceptives. If you think I'm wrong, ask a physician.

If you get pregnant on the pill, it is usually because of these reasons:

1. Missing doses

2. Pill isn't strong enough for your system. That's the reason they male so many different types. If you're breastfeeding the physician usually puts the womanon the mini-pill which only provides oen of the hormones (forgotwhich one), but once she isn't breastfeeding anymore ro bfding less, she needs to change her pill. This also goes for checking the effectiveness of you pill after at least 4 years. Your bodies cange so maybe the dose and type of pill you use need to as well. As your bodies change, the doses you get from the pill has to be stronger. If not, SURPRISE!

3. Antibiotics, foods, medications can minimize the effect ofthe pill when taken.

4. Using someone else's pills. Regardless of how general everyone thinks the pill is, everyone is prescribed the prescription according to their weight, height, and medical history.

5. Or just lie about taking them....LOL

Hope this helps. I had to change my pill twice since college. That's twice in 12 years. My body changed and the OrthoNovum 777 didn't work anymore so I changed to OrthoTricyclen. How did I know it didn't work, my periods began to change, and I started to spot in between periods. I told my doctor and a change to BC was made. It varies, but there's always a sign. You just have to get educated from a physician to know what to look for.

Tonya
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 1:18pm
I know how they happen, although the failure rate is still .1% with perfect useage so I would have to say that 1/1000 times the pill just fails. My opinion, but it is backed up by the statistics. My post actually reflected that. 5% is the number of failures with "typical" usage which would include the variables you mentioned.

Not sure if you were agreeing with me or calling me an idiot, your post wasn't real clear. But yes, I typically get my medical information from my Dr. And as a pill user for the past 6 years, we've had plenty of opportunity to discuss the pill and causes of failure.

There were a lot of posts in this thread expressing surprise about the number of people they knew who'd had "accidental" pregnancies while on some form of birth control. The pill typically has the highest success rate (including depo here in my generalization). So I went looking for useage numbers as with increased usage, there will be increased numbers of failures. Sure .1% seems small, but it still accounts for over 10,000 failures - with perfect pill useage. When you include imperfect useage, you get over 500,000 failures which would account for the high NUMBERS of failures. I used numbers provided by reputable agencies to get those numbers, and I included the links so you could see what I was talking about, should you decide to read. AND those numbers are limited to one form of birth control. They all fail and the ONLY fail-safe method is abstinence, no matter what you want to believe.

Avatar for outside_the_box_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 3:40pm
I used the diaphram in college. One morning I took it out and found a very large hole in it. I had heart failure. Fortunately nothing happened.

outside_the_box_mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 5:32pm
I got pregnant on the pill. I don't think I missed one. I was pretty good about it. I can't be sure, because I was 3 months pregnant before I even knew about it (had some spotting at the right times) I even stayed on the pill those 3 months. Stranger things have happened. Now, After being off BC for going on 15 months, I can't seem to get pregnant.......
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 5:54pm
YIKES!!! From what I understand, that's how we got my youngest brother.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 5:54pm
My dad is insistant that the "rythym method" works.... I hope that he doesn't find out the hard way that he's wrong. I think he's lucky his wife has reproductive problems or he'd be 58 years old and starting all over. (His wife is 33) I know he doesn't want to.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 6:06pm
I have also read that varying the time of taking your pill by as little as a couple of hours can lesson its effect. For maximum effectiveness it has to be taken the same time every day.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 9:36am
Well, you know, there is a commonly used name for people who use the rhythm method. PARENTS! If he doesn't want to start over, he really better rethink this one.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 11:04am
His theory is that it's worked so far, so it must work... Believe me I've tried to convince him otherwise! After he babysat my ds for a day I think he really decided he's too old for it... especially since he just retired and his wife just finished her PhD in architecture, so I doubt she'd be the one with most of the "parenting responsibility" (You'd have to know her... I actually think she would end up with none.. haha) I really hope I don't end up with a new sibling! (My brother just turned 34 and my other one will be 23 in August.... it would be odd!)