Birth Control Boo Boo?

A few days ago at work, I was sitting in the break room eating dinner when a pregnant co-worker entered. We started talking about pregnancy and children. Anyway, it came up in conversation that she’s pregnant with her third child, and all three pregnancies were the result of careful, rigorous, paranoid birth control.
Before her first pregnancy, she and her husband used condoms EVERY TIME they had sex. After the birth of her first child, she decided to go on the Depo-provera shot every three months. She and her husband used condoms AS WELL AS relying on the shot. She got pregnant again. After the birth of her second baby, she decided to rely on birth control pills + condoms + the rhythm method. SHE BECAME PREGNANT A THIRD TIME!!!

My question is this: How is that possible? Assuming she’s telling the truth about using these contraceptive methods correctly, how can she have gotten pregnant three times? She’s not an idiot, or anything, so I doubt she’s missing the point of the methods. Is it possible that some people are immune to birth control methods? Could it be that she and her husband are EXTRA fertile?

dunno… was the kid born on December 25th?

Given the wide range of SIDE effects from birth control pills, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was at least a small variation in MAIN effect. However, ‘just plain not working’ doesn’t strike me as a small variation.

My guess is that it is just weird luck. Nothing is 100% effective against preventingpregnancy, so your friend may have just been part of the small percentage that the birth control wasn’t effective for.

No method of birth control is 100% effective (other than abstinence, obviously!).

The female birth control pill has a failure rate of around 3% (rising to about 4.5% for women under 22). An IUD has a failure rate of about 16%. Condoms are dependent on the quality and use, and spermicides alone have a failure rate of more than 25%. Diaphragms have a failure rate of about 16%, and Depo-Provera has an effectiveness rate of about 99% (IIRC - the other statistics are from

Anyway, without wishing to call your co-worker a liar, perhaps she and her partner hadn’t been quite as thorough as she recalled. It only takes one slip.

Perhaps her husband is actually the dreaded Sperminator! Trojan Man’s worst nightmare! :smiley:

Everyone thinks they are using birth control correctly. If you knew you were using it incorrectly, you’d probably change your habits.

Now Depo shots are a little harder to mess up because they’re administered by a doctor (so you can’t really forget to take a pill or something). My best guess would be she took some kind of antibiotic while she was on it that decreased the effectiveness. Using condoms without spermicide also decreases their effectiveness. Or perhaps they used a lubricant that deteriorated the latex. There are lots of little mistakes you can make that end up reducing the effectiveness of birth control or even negating it entirely.

I’ve gotta say that reading this thread is making me feel paranoid…This woman would be a wonderful poster child for the abstinence movement!

Is there any reason this woman would not want to tell the truth? Maybe there’s more to the story. . .

As said before, if she had done everything “correctly” then its just bad luck. All three methods combined, or alone, still allow the smallest possibility of pregnancy. All you need is one chance right? Have any idea how old the other kids are?

A side note, since everyone’s body is unique, it’s odd, yet possible, to have someone reject or become immune to DP.

Last thing, I had a friend who was having unprotected sex with her boyfriend for two years. Not even using the rythem method. Chance finally caught up to her and she got pregnant. There is the odd factor that two completly normal healthy adults just don’t “click” that way and can’t get pregnant. Perhaps the opposite is true, and there’s a sperminator in the world for everyone :stuck_out_tongue:

I for one do not believe that this story is true as told. Either Alias or the pregnant woman is leaving out some of the facts. I know this because there is not a married man in the world who wears a condom every time he makes love to his wife while she is on any form of hormonal birth control.

FWIW, says that the effectiveness of the IUD is 98%-99.4%, not 84%. This is in line with other articles I have read, that say that the IUD is slightly more effective than the pill. Condoms are 86%-95% effective.

And to Lance Turbo, my Family Law professor taught me that “never” and “always” are two words that you cannot apply to human behavior.

I also know a woman who became pregnant 20 years after having a tubal ligation, having engaged in frequent unprotected sex in the interim. Weird things can happen with many birth control methods…

Well, that might be a stretch Lance, but I would concede that -most- would not wear rubbers if their woman is on some other control… be it the pill, IUD et al. I know I wouldn’t want to :slight_smile:

I also think there is more to the story. She is either making it up or ommiting some info. The odds would must be incredible to have this happen 3 times. I don’t believe it.

My mother produced my second little brother 6 years after her Tubal Ligation. I believe that the success rate for that method is about 99.9975% or about 1 in 400 failure rate, but I don’t have a cite for that.

I don’t know whether she is telling the truth or not but could you ask her if I can borrow her husband? Apparently, I got a broken one!

well very close, but according to the Bible it happend once ;).
Castration is also 100%

I got pregnant three times in two years. Once while on the Pill, once using spermicidal foam and condoms TOGETHER, and once while I had an IUD. One live birth, two miscarriages. It does happen. Now, I believe that the pill failure was partly the prescriber’s fault, because he failed to instruct me on what to do if I had diarrhea (that is, if you have diarrhea after taking the Pill, you need to use another method for the month). But still…I managed to get pregnant three times in two years. Most of the women on my mother’s side of the family have had at least one birth control failure, and it’s usually not user error. Some women are just plain Fertile Myrtles, and that’s all there is to it.

My mother was on the pill when she had me. Has abortion been legal in her state at the time, I probably wouldn’t even be here.

Haven’t there been cases of parthenogenesis among humans recorded (other than Christ)?

As someone who uses Depo-Provera as my chosen form of contraception, I do find it a little bit difficult to believe that someone using DP plus two other methods of contraception managed to get pregnant. According to the information which drug companies must legally provide here, DP is only slighly less reliable than tubal ligation as a form of contraception, and it certainly outrates the contraceptive pill (that actually makes sense, you can forget to take the pill or antibiotics can interfere with the effectiveness of the pill - those issues simply don’t arise with DP).

According to Vance Packard, yes there have been cases of parthenogenisis - now that we have mapped the human genome, we should be able to establish the truth of those claims.

I may be wrong, but I thought that antibiotics can interfere with Depo, too. I was under the impression that Depo was just a different way of administering the same hormones the pill contains.

I have been ill for most of the year, so I’ve taken the pill on and off all year (always a full month, unless I got sick), so I’m thinking of different methods. I’m leaning towards Depo, but I’m already overweight and don’t need 10 more pounds on me. My husband and I decided not to have children, but we’re both nervous about either of us going under the knife in case we change our minds someday. So, for now, it’s condoms for us.

Now you know too much about me and I apologize for hijacking. As for the OP, I think either she had taken antibiotics or she hasn’t been as careful as she claims. Maybe she doesn’t want to admit to people that she made a mistake.

Is she an average size person? My cousin is 4’9" and conceived all FIVE (!) of her children while on the pill. She is so little (and also underweight even for her size) that the doctor had a lot of difficulty (obviously) getting her dosage right.