Risk Factors of Contraceptive Failures Resulting in Pregnancies

Risk Factors of Contraceptive Failures Resulting in Pregnancies


Contraceptive failure is defined as when conception occurs during a period of contraceptive method use. An unwanted pregnancy is defined as a conception that occurs during the time when the woman was using a contraceptive method (Mattenson 1995).

Contraceptive failure rates depend on the method of contraception use preferred. It refers to the rate at which failure occurs following the correct use of the contraceptive method. Some methods of contraception such as condoms, diaphragms and cervical caps are subject to user failure while method failure is whereby the method chosen for contraception failed (Harman 2001).

Failure to follow instructions greatly increases the risk of contraceptive failure. For instance, one should follow the doctor’s instructions when using the birth control pill. It should be taken at the same time every day in order to increase its effectiveness. Another risk factor is inconsistency in using contraceptives. Improper use of contraceptives is another risk factor that leads to contraceptive failure. Taking of herbs or drugs without consulting a doctor while on birth control pills may reduce their effectiveness. According to Burnet (2001), user failure rates are higher than method failure rates due to the fact that they rely on actual experience and are therefore subject to human error.


The main research hypothesis in this study is to establish whether the improper use of contraceptives leads to an increased contraceptive failure among teenage girls.



The aim of this study is to focus on the risk factors that facilitate contraceptive failure. The study investigates whether the improper use of contraceptives increases the risk of contraceptive failure among teenage girls aged between 15-19 years.


  1. To establish the individual characteristics of teenage girls that facilitate the contraceptive failure
  2. To investigate the type of contraceptive that is most used by teenage girls.
  3. To find out the level of contraceptive failure among the teenage girls
  4. To establish the method of contraceptive administration by teenage girls
  5. To investigate the length of time that contraception has been used by the teenage girls prior to its failure. Risk Factors of Contraceptive Failures Resulting in Pregnancies

Research method

The study will be conducted on girls aged between 15-19 years. The girls have to have used a form of contraceptive and need to be sexually active. Cultural or economic factors are extraneous variables that may directly affect the outcome of the results. Simple research ethics must be observed at all times through-out the study. These include confidentiality as well as informed consent.

A systematic search of the literature with high sensitivity and low specificity will be undertaken on ten databases which include CINAHL, MEDLINE In-Process (OVID) and POPLINE using medical subject headings (MeSH), terms like the demand of contraceptives and termination of pregnancy (Gabbe 1991 p.124). A time-series study of the medical data will be undertaken, from 2000 to 2005, using 1000 cases from a pregnancy service provider on the termination of pregnancies. This data will help to determine the level of failed contraceptive use among teenage girls. Data will be critically analyzed and appraised using simple linear regression analysis and incorporating one-way ANOVA to synthesize the data.

Prior work

The knowledge of methods and means of administering contraceptives is very essential before conducting the research. Adequate and sufficient analysis of the substantial statistical methods of collecting and analyzing data is critical during preparation for a research. Advance notice should also be given to the medical or resourceful organizations where data is to be obtained. The team designated to carry out the research should be well-equipped with the practical skills on how to conduct themselves on the field and handle the tasks at their disposal. Finally, the research team should gather the required materials for the research.

A study conducted by Centre for Disease Control earlier in the year found that half of the teenagers who unintentionally got pregnant did not use any form of birth control. The data was analyzed from 2004-2008 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). PRAMS is used in 37 states and can be used to assess unintended pregnancies. It collects data on women’s attitudes before, during and after the pregnancy. This study analyzed data from 5, 000 teenagers from 19 different states that had conceived unintentionally. The results showed that half the teenagers had not used any form of contraception, 13% said they couldn’t access it, 21% got pregnant while they were using contraceptives. The conclusions of the study were that it was disturbing that half the teenagers actually got pregnant while using the contraceptive. This therefore calls for a need to educate teenagers on proper contraceptive use (Kempner 2012) Risk Factors of Contraceptive Failures Resulting in Pregnancies

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