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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How Often Will Your Pills Fail?

Contraceptive pills are very effective when they are taken. Failure rates are just a few percent, with missed pills, or lower blood levels due to vomiting or other medications the most common reasons for failure. How your gyno looks at these numbers is fairly interesting. Furthermore, the statistics always have to be adjusted as they change over time, even if the pills themselves are not changed.

 Your doc will base their opinion of effectiveness
on how many women are pregnant at the end of the year out of every hundred that use the method. That fact is called the Pearl index. Pearl indexes in this country has been creeping up, for some reason contraception, although used a bit more, is less likely to work. So, ,your method is more likely to fail now than if you were on the same method years ago. Contraceptive products tested in the USA now have higher failure rates than they had ten yrs ago. This drift in effectiveness rates is real, it is steady, and we don’t know the reason for it. Experts have looked into similar products overseas, and it doesn’t happen in Europe. Are we more forgetful? Are we heavier? Yes we are heavier, but that apparently is not the issue for obese women. A new study looked at why women who are heavier seem to have greater birth control failures, and guess what, it wasn't their weight, it was that heavier women forgot their pills more! Numbers and statistics can be confusing, but then again the facts are the facts!

Do you know the statistics behind contraceptive effectiveness? Your doc will base this on how many women are pregnant at the end of the year out of every hundred that use the method. That fact is called the Pearl index. Pearl indexes in this country has been creeping up, for some reason contraception, although used a bit more, is less likely to work. So, ,your method is more likely to fail now than if you were on the same method years ago. Contraceptive products tested in the USA now have higher failure rates than they had ten yrs ago. This drift in effectiveness rates is real, it is steady, and we don’t know the reason for it. Experts have looked into similar products overseas, and it doesn’t happen in Europe. Are we more forgetful? Are we heavier? Yes we are heavier, but that apparently is not the issue for obese women. A new study looked at why women who are heavier seem to have greater birth control failures, and guess what, it wasn't their weight, it was that heavier women forgot their pills more! Numbers and statistics can be confusing, but then again the facts are the facts!

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