While most birth control and contraception methods are deemed highly effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies, there is still the possibility that one can get pregnant while on birth control. This article explores five reasons and ways that may cause unplanned pregnancies even while practicing contraception methods.
Most women rely on popular contraception methods like birth control pills and condoms to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Although the Pill and most common forms of contraception used by men and women are highly reliable in preventing pregnancies, there is still the possibility of getting pregnant while on birth control albeit being very minimal. Below are five reasons that may cause pregnancies while on birth control:
Improper use of chosen contraception method
Most contraception and birth control methods are almost a hundred percent pregnancy-proof. Human error plays a large part why unplanned pregnancies occur among people practicing birth control.
One such example is the improper use of the Pill. The Pill must be taken at exactly the same time everyday. Forgetting or being late in taking a scheduled Pill intake and having unprotected sex can cause a pregnancy. Also, since the Pill is taken in cycles, a disruption in the cycle caused by missed birth control pills can be tricky to correct and cause an unplanned pregnancy without a backup or alternative form of birth control.
Condoms are also prone to misuse. Not taking the air out of the condom before putting it on can cause it to burst due the friction created by the intercourse. Also, using a condom that does not fit well can cause it to burst or slide and spill the semen during intercourse.
Diaphragms, cervical caps, and IUDs, on the other hand, need to be checked at least once a month for proper positioning. Misalignment or improper coverage can provide little pathways for the sperm to reach the egg and start the conception process.
Inconsistent usage of contraception methods
Inconsistency in the use of contraception methods also contribute to the number of unplanned pregnancies that occur while on birth control. Missed birth control pills or having unprotected sex without condoms “just this one time,” is enough to cause a pregnancy. Since sperm can live inside the woman's reproductive system for days, having just one unprotected encounter is enough to cause a pregnancy even if the succeeding sexual intercourse made use of contraceptives.
Other antibiotic medications
Taking antibiotic medications have been found to affect and interfere with the efficacy of birth control pills. Antibiotic medications can decrease the levels of steriod plasma concentrations in the pills which can drastically alter their effects. If pills are taken along with antibiotic medication, it is advised that women and their partners use backup birth control methods to augment the decreased efficacy of the pills. Backup contraceptives can come in the form of sperm gels, creams, and condoms.
Broken condoms and other barrier methods
Breakage is the prime cause of failure for barrier methods of contraception. Broken condoms and other barrier methods provide a way for the sperm to escape and reach the egg. Condoms are usually broken due to the increased friction and pressure during intercourse. Using the right-sized condoms and proper latex-safe lubricants can help minimize condom ruptures. Other barrier methods can benefit from monthly checkups to assess and maintain the right fit.
Believing there is a safe time for unprotected sex
There is never a safe time for unprotected sex. Studies have shown that while most women get pregnant during their mid-cycle or fertile days, some also get pregnant on days that normally considered as non-fertile. As such, it is advised that protection should always be used whenever one has sex to prevent unplanned pregnancies.