How safe is the pill by itself, without condoms?

Ah. It seems that Implanon is on the verge of being approved for the US market, but has not officially gotten the go-ahead stamp so far.

Hi. Have we met?

My nickname before I was born was “Oh, shit. We were on the Pill!”.

And I got pregnant (but miscarried) while on the Pill - I didn’t realize I was pregnant at the time, though, and it was a very early miscarriage. So my family may just have an aversion to the Pill, because I think for most people, it’s quite effective.


THe stats for most types of an oral contraceptive like here indicate that per hundred women per year, there are 1-2 pregnancies.

That’s a funny stat. For one, if a women gets pregnant, she can’t get really pregnant again that year, so that would skew the statistic one way.

However, that might represent 5000 sex sessions (say each of the women on the pill has sex once per week), resulting in 1-2 pregnancies for every 5000 sex sessions. A failure rate of .02%-.04%, not 2%-4%. I would suspect that those failures are highly correlated with people screwing up their regimen, but that’s just speculation.

Anyway, that site should answer some of your concerns.

The Planned Parenthood website also says that “typical use” is pretty damn sloppy:

Seriously, I’ve been on the Pill for over a year, and never missed even one. However, I am beyond dedicated to this method. I usually take it when my alarm goes off every morning, but one time I slept through my alarm. I was only 2 hours late, but I still made my SO use a backup method for a week.

I’ve been on the pill for a total of a couple of years or so, with a break in the middle, and the handful of times I missed one, I took it the next morning (I take mine at about 10 PM, or earlier if I’m going to bed earlier). I simply can’t imagine forgetting for more than a few hours.

I’ve never had even a pregnancy scare. I know no contraceptives are 100% reliable, but if something happened (please please please no) it wouldn’t be because I keep forgetting pills. It’d be because of that pesky .02% failure rate.

I wonder where Planned Parenthood got those numbers – not that I have anything against them, but if THAT many women are messing up, maybe the pill is a seriously bad idea for a lot of women who get it!

If you look at the literature for the pharmacist that comes with your prescription, the hormones stay in your system for longer than 24 hours (my guess is that we take it like we do because it is easier to remember than every 37 hours, or whatever it would be). That makes it a very “forgiving” drug. With so many women forgetting pills, it is incredible that the failure rate is only 5%.

I know that THC lowers sperm count so if I were to smoke lots of pot (this is all hypothetical of course), would it lower the odds ever so slightly? How much of a difference in sperm count does pot make anyway?

I always find remarks about how utterly ineffective withdrawal is as a method of contraception somewhat amusing. One needs to remember that it is not an absolute truth; it’s a lie-to-children designed to discourage people from using it as a sole means of contraception.
If you look at the chart Zsofia linked to (here it is again) you’ll see that withdrawing is actually more effective than or as effective as spermicides, diaphragms, cervical caps, female condoms and “natural family planning”.
While no one should be using withdrawal as their sole method of contraception, recommending spermicides as a better alternative doesn’t make much sense.

I have been on the pill for 14 years and have never had a pregnancy scare. I don’t even take it at the same time every day, and still, no babies.

For a couple of months I tried the Ring and the Patch, and didn’t like either. The Ring kept slipping down too far, and the Patch made me itch and once it fell off. I also can’t use spermicide because I’m allergic to Nonoxynol-9 and would rather just skip sex altogether as a form of birth control than use it.

The pill is the way to go if you have the kind of girlfriend who will remember to take it every day at pretty much the same time. She should also talk to her pharmacist whenever she gets a new drug to be sure it doesn’t decrease the pill’s effectiveness. Overall, the pill is where it’s at as far as I’m concerned.

True, but I wonder if that’s true for the low-dose pills. I’m on Loestrin and when my doc prescribed it he was careful to tell me that I had to be careful to take them at the same time because of that. Of course, I’m a new patient, so he doesn’t know exactly how paranoid I am about taking them…

I know plenty of pot heads (my ex included) that were extremely fertile. Take my word for it. Stick with the pill. It’s VEEEERRRRY effective. The most effective next to not having sex.

I’m on Alesse (another low-dose pill) and that is where I got my info. My guess is that Drs just stress this issue with every patient because compliance is so low.

Quite possibly. Like I said, he didn’t really know me. I simply can’t imagine forgetting them on a constant basis, and if I was, I’d look into another sort of birth control!