Main Reason For Birth Control Failure

Why Does Our Birth Control Fail?

The most important thing to keep in mind about birth control failure is that NO birth control method is perfect. Except for abstinence, there is always the chance that birth control failure can happen. One in every three babies is conceived by accident. These pregnancies happened because condoms may have broken and because women may have missed taking their birth control pills. Half of all unintended pregnancies actually happen when you are using birth control.

I am here to tell you though that you can make a big difference in whether or not your birth control fails. How... you may be wondering? Well the number one reason why the birth control fails is because you're not using it the right way.

Main Reason for Birth Control Failure - User Error:

Birth Control Failure
Birth Control Failure. Sam Edwards/OJO Images/Getty Images

User error is made up of two parts:

  • Not properly using your birth control (according to it's instructions). 
  • Not always using your birth control.

User error may be more likely to occur with some birth control methods more than others. Usually, the more steps you need to follow when using birth control leads to more chances for user error to happen. So, if you don't want to experience birth control failure, you need to make sure that you are always using your birth control and using it the correct way -- this will help your method be as effective as possible.

How to Prevent Birth Control Failure:

To understand how to prevent birth control failure, it is important understand how effectiveness is determined. You need to realize that the effectiveness rates of a particular birth control method are usually provided as "typical user rates" and "perfect use rates."

Typical use failure rates tend to be higher than failure rates if your birth control method if used perfectly.

What To Do if You Think Your Birth Control Failed:

If it is has only been 3-5 days since you become aware of birth control failure (such as a condom breaking), you can use emergency contraception. This is birth control that can be taken after the fact to help lower your chances of getting pregnant because of birth control failure or forgetting to use birth control. There are several morning-after pill options:

All of these can be bought over the counter, with no age restrictions. The sooner you take the morning-after pill, the more effective it should be.

You may not even realize that birth control failure has happened. You may begin to wonder about birth control failure if your period is late. Before you begin to panic that your birth control may have failed, first try to figure out when you could have possibly gotten pregnant. Then, you can take a home pregnancy test to know, for sure, whether or not birth control failure has taken place. 

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