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Contraception Failure: Things To Know By Expert

Contraceptives, also known as birth control, are devices that prevent pregnancy.
Published -21 May 2022, 15:05 ISTUpdated -21 May 2022, 15:59 IST
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  • Bhavishya Bir
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  • Published -21 May 2022, 15:05 ISTUpdated -21 May 2022, 15:59 IST
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Verified Dr. Suhasini Inamdar, Consultant - Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bangalore: Contraceptives, also known as birth control, are devices that prevent pregnancy. The most popular forms of contraceptives are condoms, birth control pills, intrauterine devices, emergency contraception pills ('morning after pill), and contraceptive implants. Condoms work by preventing sperms from reaching the eggs, whereas birth control pills, vaginal rings, and shots stop the ovaries from releasing mature eggs that can fertilize. Intrauterine devices(IUDs) are long-term contraceptives implanted into the uterus and can be kept in place for several years. Sterilization is another form of contraceptive, but it permanently prevents someone from getting pregnant. People who never wish to give birth choose this method.

Are Contraceptives 100% Effective? What Is The Effectiveness Rate?

birth control pills

Contrary to popular belief, no contraception method is 100% effective. Some methods claim that they are 98% effective, which means that at least 2 out of 100 couples will get pregnant. However, this figure is only accurate if used precisely according to the doctor's instructions. The effectiveness rates of birth control methods are either based on typical user rates or perfect use rates. A perfect use rate is determined when a contraceptive is used correctly and consistently by following all the rules rigorously. However, not every couple uses contraceptives properly, so birth control becomes less effective. For instance, the effectiveness of a condom which is 98% effective when used ideally decreases to less than 90% with typical use. A typical use rate is usually much lower than the perfect use rate. Only a few contraceptive methods such as sterilization and IUD fall under the perfect use category.

Why Do Contraceptives Fail?

condoms contraceptive failure

The most common reason behind the failure of contraceptives is human error. While there is still a lack of awareness about the importance of birth control, some people still choose not to use it or forget to use it. If you find yourself forgetting to take your birth control pill more than once, it is recommended that you get an IUD or implant. Carelessness and ignorance can put you at a high risk of unwanted pregnancy. Even if people use contraceptives, they often fail to use them properly. Most people prefer to use condoms as they are easily accessible. However, knowing which condom is the right size for you and being careful while removing it is just as important. You must know what you are doing and learn how to use contraceptives to practice safe sex and protect yourself from various sexually transmitted diseases(STDs). Apart from human error, medications like antibiotics, antidepressants, natural herbs, and diabetes drugs can also interfere and make birth control pills less effective. 

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Which Is The Best Contraceptive Method For You?

contraceptive types

Everyone's body is different, so you should try to figure out which method of birth control works for you. When choosing your choice of birth control, some factors that you should include are your health, how sexually active you are, how many people you are sexually involved with, and whether you want to conceive in the future. Although IUDs are highly effective at preventing unintended pregnancy, it does not protect against STDs and HIV. It is advisable not to have multiple sexual partners to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases.

It would be best if you also considered the contraceptive's availability, effectiveness, and affordability. If you still struggle to choose birth control for yourself, you should seek guidance from your healthcare specialist.

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What Should You Do If Your Birth Control Fails?

If you feel unsure about whether your contraceptive has failed or not, you can take a home pregnancy test or visit your gynecologist if you think you are pregnant as in case of a positive pregnancy test you will need proper prenatal care and support. 

Remember: The emergency contraceptive pill is to be avoided at all costs.

For more such stories, stay tuned to HerZindagi!
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