04.03.2015

Chances of pregnancy on birth control

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. The following chart shows the chance of getting pregnant for women who use different methods of birth control. If you become pregnant while using IMPLANON, you have a slightly higher chance that the pregnancy will be ectopic (occurring outside the womb) than do women who do not use birth control.
The use of IMPLANON may also increase your chance of serious blood clots, especially if you have other risk factors, such as smoking. 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. Each box on the chart contains a list of birth control methods that are similar in effectiveness. If you and your health care provider cannot feel the IMPLANON implant, use a non-hormonal birth control method (such as condoms) until your health care provider confirms that the implant is in place. 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.
Call your health care provider right way if you think you are pregnant or have unexplained lower stomach (abdominal) pain. 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. Tell your doctor at least 4 weeks before if you are going to have surgery or will need to be on bed rest, because you have an increased chance of getting blood clots during surgery or bed rest. Use a back up birth control method and call your health care provider right away if the implant comes out.




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