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To ask why accidental pregnancies are so common?

(553 Posts)
Change17 Wed 12-Aug-20 19:00:16

I’m probably going to get a lot of negative feedback for this. But I’m in my 5th week of lockdown in Melbourne and my mind is asking all sorts of questions.

I’ve honestly never fully understood how so many women find themselves accidentally pregnant. I’m not talking here about contraception not working. I’m aware condoms can break and the pill isn’t always a 100% guarantee.

But if you’re not taking any precautions against getting pregnant, how is it such a shock when the tests come back positive?
I admit I’ve only had sex with a man once when I was 17. Wasn’t long after that that I realised I was gay so I’m not as knowledgable as I could be when it comes to having sex with men, but they always know when ejaculation is imminent yes? As in, there’s a warning period and time to pull out? (Sorry to be blunt.)

As I say I totally understand contraception is not always completely reliable and in all honesty the reason I even started to think about this was watching Desperate Housewives which I’m currently doing a re-run or for the first time in years. Lynette always talks about how she only wanted one child but kept getting pregnant and was “surprised” each time.
I can’t count the amount of times at uni I’d go with friends to get the morning after pill or pregnancy tests and I’d never say anything but was always low key thinking “how does this happen so often???” If you’re not using a condom or on the pill or another form of contraception... then why not do everything else possible to avoid the risk?
I’m fully prepared to be told I’m being way too black and white about this or whether else is coming my way.

OP’s posts: |
Fletchings Wed 12-Aug-20 19:01:33

what do you mean by 'so common'? confused

vodkaredbullgirl Wed 12-Aug-20 19:03:11


Change17 Wed 12-Aug-20 19:03:44

Fletchings oh gosh must we nitpick on terminology lol. I mean- it’s really not uncommon to hear about “surprise” pregnancies or “accidental” pregnancies. Relatively speaking. Not really sure why that’s relevant anyway.

OP’s posts: |
Change17 Wed 12-Aug-20 19:04:15

vodkaredbullgirl what does a flower indicate ?

OP’s posts: |
Zhampagne Wed 12-Aug-20 19:04:46

A planned pregnancy can still be a bit of a shock, because something that has hitherto been very abstract suddenly becomes real. I imagine the effect is amplified with an unplanned pregnancy.

Pregnancy tests and MAP are just additional precautions.

Justsocross Wed 12-Aug-20 19:05:13

If you see the way people wear face masks .... accidental pregnancies are no surprise !!!!!!grin

Fletchings Wed 12-Aug-20 19:05:41

hearing about the odd surprise pregnancy doesn't make it common. you asked so So asked what you mean by common! 🤷

DrDetriment Wed 12-Aug-20 19:05:47

I've wondered this too. I've managed to have sex regularly for 25 years and not had an accidental pregnancy. A condom broke once and I took the MAP.

TheSpottedZebra Wed 12-Aug-20 19:06:12

Mate, I don't think Desparate Housewifes is real. Or can be used as a basis for real life.

Nottherealslimshady Wed 12-Aug-20 19:06:51

Because if you want sex but dont have any contraception to hand then you take your chances because you want to have sex. The alternative is deciding not to have sex when you want to. Which wen you're horny and a bit tipsy is pretty difficult. I'm not saying it's the right decision, its irresponsible and silly. But it's hardly unsurprising.
I've had sex without contraception before because we didn't have any condoms and I hadn't chosen another form yet, and we wanted to have sex.

Clumsyduck Wed 12-Aug-20 19:07:46

People get carried away I guess
And you are discounting failed contraception but I’d imagine that counts towards many “ accidental pregnancies”

LightUpLetters Wed 12-Aug-20 19:07:50

I dont understand accidental pregnancies either.

There is sperm in pre cum so the pull out method is not reliable. There are also alot of myths about for example...

- you cant get pregnant if your breast feeding
- you cant get pregnant if he doesnt cum inside you
- you cant get pregnant in certain positions etc

Basically people dont use their brains. There is no such thing as an accidential pregnancy, its lack of common sense and naviety that causes surprise pregnancies

Blanketyblanket Wed 12-Aug-20 19:07:56

I don’t know anyone that has been surprised at getting pregnant when they aren’t taking any form of contraception. I guess my sister was kind I’d surprised as she fell pregnant at 40 having been told that her Dh had a low sperm count and they’d been trying for a decade. But not an unwanted surprise.

It’s really very easy to get pregnant. I got pregnant with dc1 despite using condoms and had never had one split. It happens

MsEllany Wed 12-Aug-20 19:08:08

I think it’s an unpopular opinion but I also think a lot more women than will admit to it try for a bandaid baby to try and fix a bad relationship. And only afterwards realise they’re even more fucked than before.

Also I don’t think your examples are ‘surprise’ at all. Unplanned maybe, but only an idiot is surprised when pregnancy occurs after unprotected sex.

Change17 Wed 12-Aug-20 19:08:09

TheSpottedZebra are you being deliberately obtuse? The storyline is what got me thinking about it. I have never claimed that desperate housewives is a documentary. My gosh. If you really don’t think women are finding themselves accidentally pregnant in real life then... I don’t know what to tell you.

OP’s posts: |
Nquartz Wed 12-Aug-20 19:08:10


I've wondered this too. I've managed to have sex regularly for 25 years and not had an accidental pregnancy. A condom broke once and I took the MAP.

Same here! I was dreadful at taking the pill too in my younger days.

Got pregnant the first time DH & I had unprotected sex so I must be pretty fertile!

farandfew Wed 12-Aug-20 19:09:30

You answered your own question - contraceptives fail. Sex education can also be terrible in some areas.

This is a very goady thread.

MsEllany Wed 12-Aug-20 19:09:46

I think the shit show of sexual education in America contributed to your Desperate Housewives storyline though!

coconutwhip Wed 12-Aug-20 19:09:57

As PP have said
Your partner doesn't 'cum' in you but you end up pregnant
It's your first time doing it and everyone says it will never happen your first time

Candyflosscookie Wed 12-Aug-20 19:10:00

I really don't think it's that common actually. Out of all my friends (that I've had this kind of conversation with obviously and we've been open about it) there's only been one "surprise" and that was when they'd hoped for years for a second, weren't taking any contraception but genuinely didn't think due to age it would actually happen - and were utterly thrilled when it did!
Everyone I know from Uni days and onwards were on the Pill AND doubled up with condoms when single/dating and only came off when absolutely certain they wanted to try for family.

funnyonion1 Wed 12-Aug-20 19:10:05

I understand what you're saying.

I've had plenty of ONS in my youth (and I mean plenty) and always used contraception or the MAP. Never ever had a pregnancy scare, ever.

I'm genuinely surprised by the amount of "oh I was on the pill and/or took the MAP and I'm still pregnant"... hmm Given the pill is something like 99.98% effective I'm surprised so many people get pregnant on it! I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but statistically speaking I see and hear about "surprise" pregnancies a lot.

MsEllany Wed 12-Aug-20 19:11:22

Me too @Nquartz. I can pinpoint the exact night I got pregnant with my third baby (actively decided to try for another) and had been using condoms for three years in between.

MrsPatrickDempsey Wed 12-Aug-20 19:11:39


I have never understood this either. Just don't understand being 'caught up in the moment'. The consequences are too high.

riotlady Wed 12-Aug-20 19:12:33

I don’t understand why you’re discounting pregnancies that occur because of contraceptive failure? Surely they’re a massive proportion of all the surprise/accidental pregnancies you hear about?

(I conceived DD after trying out the contraceptive patch on the recommendation of a friend- had nearly a decade on the pill no problem, 6 months on the patch and I was pregnant!!)

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