01.08.2014

Chances of pregnancy not using contraceptives

Emergency contraception works before ovulation, but does not appear to work after ovulation has already occurred. If you've had unprotected sex and are wondering if you at risk of pregnancy, this tool from Planned Parenthood can help. For more information on these services, see Facts on Publicly Funded Contraceptive Services in the United States. Sign up for our weekly column on sex, life, love, kicking ass, and using better birth control.
Women under 30 years old are incredibly fertile—their ability to get pregnant is at its peak. All reversible birth control methods will help prevent pregnancy while you’re using them, but none have long-lasting effects on your ability to get pregnant when you stop. Let’s look, for example, at how long it takes for women to get pregnant when they quit the Pill compared to when they quit non-hormonal fertility awareness methods (FAM, sometimes called natural family planning). Typical use: This is the norm, reflecting the effectiveness of each method for the average couple who do not always use it correctly or consistently.
Assuming typical male condom use by a heterosexual couple, the number of women projected to experience an unplanned pregnancy over a period of ten years is about 86 out of 100. For male condoms used on a ten-year timeline, the difference between pregnancy rates during perfect use (18%) and typical use (86%) is almost 70%. Used correctly and consistently, these contraceptive methods are projected to result in an unplanned pregnancy in just 3% of women over a ten year period.
Over the same time period, that's lower than the projected rate of unplanned pregnancy in women who have been sterilized.
Number 3 is that these estimates have been corrected for underreporting of abortion and over-reporting of contraceptive use, both of which occur, and neither of which is very well understood.
Daniels K, Daugherty J and Jones J, Current contraceptive status among women aged 15–44: United States, 2011–2013, National Health Statistics Reports, No. Jones J, Mosher WD and Daniels K, Current contraceptive use in the United States, 2006–2010, and changes in patterns of use since 1995, National Health Statistics Reports, 2012, No.


Trussell J, Contraceptive failure in the United States, Contraception, 2011, 83(5):397–404.
Daniels K, Mosher WD and Jones J, Contraceptive methods women have ever used: United States, 1982–2010, National Health Statistics Reports, 2013, No. Trussell J, Estimates of contraceptive failure from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, letter to the editor, Contraception, 2008, 78(1):85.
That’s why women who use the Pill but accidentally forget to take it for a few days can get pregnant that month. A big study of over 2,000 women who quit the Pill after using it for an average of seven years found that 21% were pregnant in one month and 79% were pregnant in a year. The prescription will run out on your birth control and you'll miss a couple of days, lowering your body's guard against unwanted pregnancy. Few couples, if any, achieve flawless contraceptive use, especially over long time periods. We forget, misremember, and misuse, and so we see a projected rate of pregnancy (again, over 10 years) of not 3%, but 61%. Probabilities of pregnancy for most of the reviewed contraceptive methods were estimated based on data collected in the 1995 and 2002 National Surveys of Family Growth (NSFG), a nationally representative sample of users.
These numbers can't tell you with any certainty what your likelihood of an unwanted pregnancy is, because the only person who can say how consistent you are with your chosen method of birth control is you. Pregnancy rates based on the NSFG alone would tend to be too low because induced abortions (and contraceptive failures leading to induced abortions) are underreported but would tend to be too high because contraceptive failures leading to live births are overreported. In the NSFG and in most clinical trials, a woman is 'using' a contraceptive method if she considers herself to be using that method. Women who stopped using FAM had very similar rates of pregnancy, with 20-25% pregnant in one month and 80% pregnant in a year.
For some women who stop using the implant or the shot (Depo-Provera), it can take a few extra months to start normal menstrual cycles again. With the exception of the ovulation method (perfect use 26%, typical use 94%), that's a bigger difference than any other contraceptive method.


Unintended pregnancy rates of other methods were based on surveys and clinical investigations. So, typical use of the condom could include actually using a condom only occasionally, and a woman could report that she is 'using' the pill even though her supplies ran out several months ago. In other words, women who quit the Pill get pregnant just as fast as other women, even if they’ve used the Pill for years.
There may be a delay of up to two months after stopping the implant and up to six months after stopping the shot, but this varies from person to person, and most women get pregnant soon after stopping these methods.
If you test positive, you can tell a partner he or she should get tested and treated using an anonymous e-card. In other words: The longer you use a given contraceptive, the more opportunities there are for you to use it improperly or inconsistently. The reason is that the least adherent users become pregnant, leaving behind a group that over time is less and less likely to fail. The longer a woman has an untreated STI like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, the higher the chance that it will cause scarring in the tubes that connect her ovaries and uterus. And for future hookups, you can learn more about talking to a new partner about using condoms.
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That scarring makes it difficult for an egg to travel the right direction, and hurts her chances of getting pregnant in the future.



Chances of getting pregnant each month by age
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