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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Getting Pregnant on the Pill

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Author Topic: Getting Pregnant on the Pill
KrazeeCaramel94263
Neophyte
Member # 43547

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I know what the percentages are for chances of getting pregnant for a "perfect" user and a "typical" user. But it seems like you are always hearing stories of how so and so got pregnant on the pill. Is that what they are, just stories? How common is it really for someone to get pregnant on the pill? My mom swears she took it like she was suppose to and ended up pregnant....my boyfriends mom same story? Are they just lying by saying they were perfect users or does it really happen that often?
Posts: 38 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Johann7
Activist
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The effectiveness of various birth control methods is generally measured by the number of women who become pregnant while using the method and having sex "regularly" over a period of one year. You state that you already know the info, but in case you want/need a refresher or handy reference, Planned Parenthood has a nice chart comparing effectiveness rates of various birth control methods here (the chart assumes perfect use, that is, correct usage every time one engages in sexual activity with a pregnancy risk). According to the chart, 2-8 women out of every hundred become pregnant while on the pill over the course of a year, even with perfect usage, so it's certainly possible that both your mother and your boyfriend's mother became pregnant while using the pill correctly.

With hormonal birth control methods, there are a number of other medications that can interfere with the effectiveness (including some antibiotics), even assuming a woman never misses a dose. If you are taking or start taking any other medications while using hormonal birth control, make sure your doctor knows that you're also using a hormonal birth control method so s/he can warn you about any possible interactions. If you are (or someone you know is) using a hormonal method, you might consider using condoms in addition to a hormonal method, as they drastically reduce pregnancy risk as well as risk of contracting many STI's (some STI's, like the herpes simplex viruses, can be contracted from skin-to-skin contact even with condom usage).

The only 100% effective method of birth control is abstinence from any sexual activity that carries a pregnancy risk (and even then, the sad fact of the matter is that a woman may have her sexual agency subverted by a rapist/sexual abuser and become pregnant as a result). I don't want to freak you out here, though; with proper use of a hormonal birth control method, one's odds of becoming pregnant are very low, and if one combines that with regular condom usage the chances are lower still. Finally, if one does become pregnant before one is ready to be a parent, the options of abortion and adoption remain available.

For more info, check out the Scarleteen Birth Control Bingo page here.

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Robble Robble Robble!

Posts: 46 | From: Milwaukee, WI USA | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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quote:
According to the chart, 2-8 women out of every hundred become pregnant while on the pill over the course of a year, even with perfect usage, so it's certainly possible that both your mother and your boyfriend's mother became pregnant while using the pill correctly.
Just to be clear, 8% is about typical use, not perfect. In PERFECT use, the pill is 99.7% effective: that's around 2-3 in every thousand, not 2-8 in every hundred.

Mind, that's still a substantial number of women (which is why yes, you will hear about women becoming pregnant with perfect or near-perfect use), while at the same time, a relative very few compared to no method or some other methods.

One thing mentioned in this reply is combining more than one method, which we know can nearly double that effectiveness rate and make pregnancy EXCEPTIONALLY unlikely. For people who want to be active with intercourse, but really do not want a pregnancy, my personal advice is always to simply use two methods, such as the pill and condoms.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KrazeeCaramel94263
Neophyte
Member # 43547

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Thank you all very much for your advice/information! I am not concerned about becoming pregnant I was just curious and all. I do want kids I just want to finish college first I have two years left of that. I am 22 years old and my boyfriend and I would like to have kids soon so were not 50 when our child is 20. Also if something were to accidentally happen we would be ready and prepared! I was just curious in all because it seems like "everyone" is getting preganant while taking the pill "perfect" haha.
Posts: 38 | From: Michigan | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, that's certainly not true. [Smile]

I think it's wise to remember that there is a LOT of blaming in our culture when women become accidentally pregnant, so few people are comfortable just saying, "Yeah, I had missed a few pills that cycle," or "We just didn't use a condom that one time."

As well, a LOT of people who think they're using methods properly are not.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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