Sunday, February 01, 2009

Pregnant While On The Pill

Photo by Lew57

Becoming pregnant, while on the Pill, with twins. Twice! And you thought you had a bad day:

Proud mother Carly O'Brien has beaten odds of 11.3 million to one to give birth to two sets of twins - despite being on the contraceptive pill.

The 22-year-old and her partner John Grant, 28, were amazed when she gave birth to her first set of twins Brandon and Daisy.

Now, two years on, Carly has stunned experts by giving birth to another miracle set of twins - Dylan and Lilly.


Carly, from Portsmouth, Hants, had been using the contraceptive pill since she was 17 and never imagined she could get pregnant while using it.

She and John, who installs air conditioning units, had been together for only a year and having children had not crossed their minds.

But when Carly missed a period and started being sick, she may be pregnant.

A pregnancy test confirmed it but it wasn't until her 12 week scan she discovered she was carrying twins.


New mum Carly was overjoyed with her two children and, certain she did not want any more, she opted for a stronger contraceptive pill, which had to be taken twice a day.

But, just 18 months later, when Carly missed a period she couldn't believe the supposedly impossible had happened again.

A six-week scan revealed she was again carrying twins - beating odds of more than 11 million to one.

She said: 'I just couldn't believe it and didn't know how it could have happened to me again - especially as I was on a stronger pill.

Now, after the first pregnancy while on the Pill, what could Ms. O'Brien have done to lessen the chance of another contraceptive failure?

Option 1: Double-up.

While the simultaneous use of two methods of birth control, for example the Pill and a male condom, sounds great in theory, it can be problematic. A lot of couples, especially those in long-term, monogamous relationships, are not too keen on using a condom; the risk of noncompliance is quite high.

Option 2: Change Birth Control Methods

This is the one I would've advised. When you've already experienced a failure while taking the Pill, and with twins and no desire to become pregnant again it's time to move on to a more reliable birth control method.

For the Pill, the first year typical-use failure is ~8%.

Compare that with the typical-use failure for the most effective methods:

- Implants (Implanon) 0.05% and IUDs (Mirena, CuT) 0.2% and 0.8%, respectively

- Male sterilization 0.15%

- Depo-Provera 3%


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