An assorment of different contraceptive methods

Can I conceive while on contraception?

Getting pregnant while on any contraceptive is rare, but possible. No contraceptive method is 100% effective thus there is always a small chance of pregnancy.

The effectiveness of contraception varies depending on:

  • the efficacy of the method used
  • adherence to usage instructions;
  • individual response to the contraceptive

Hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, patches, injections, and implants, work by inhibiting ovulation, thickening cervical mucus, or altering the uterine lining. When used correctly, these methods are highly effective, with a failure rate typically between 1%-9% depending on the method. However, missed doses or other factors can reduce their efficacy, increasing the risk of unplanned pregnancy.

Below is a chart showing the effectiveness of various contraception:

MethodEffectiveness on correct use
Contraceptive implantOver 99%
Hormonal coil (the coil)Over 99%
IUD (Copper coil)Over 99%
InjectionOver 99%
Combined PillOver 99%
Progestogen-only pillOver 99%
Abstinence 100%
PatchOver 99%
Vaginal ringOver 99%
Male condoms98%
Female condoms95%
Diaphragms and caps92%-96%
Natural family planning91%-99%
Source: NHS

While no contraceptive method provides 100% assurance, following usage guidelines by the manufacturer or as instructed by your healthcare provider ensures effectiveness. If a person suspects they may be pregnant while using contraception, it’s essential to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Factors such as drug interactions, illness, or changes in body weight can influence contraceptive efficacy.

If a contraceptive such as a condom fails, take prompt action. In this case, consider using emergency contraception, which is available over the counter or by prescription, within the prescribed duration. Consult a healthcare professional right away for advice.

If you have an unwanted pregnancy, talk to your doctor about your options, including abortion. Open communication and timely intervention are critical.

In conclusion, while contraceptives significantly reduce the likelihood of pregnancy, no method is foolproof. Open communication with healthcare providers, regular check-ups, and consistent adherence to usage instructions are essential for maximizing contraceptive effectiveness and minimizing the chances of an unexpected conception.

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