Anyone who paid attention in sex ed or reads fine-print would know that contraception isn’t fail-safe. With typical use, condoms will result in a pregnancy 18 per cent of the time; the Pill, around nine per cent; an IUD, fewer than one per cent.
Emma Brown, a former nurse from Enfield in the UK, was in that minority more than once. In fact, she claims that she’s been failed by four different types of popular contraception since the age of 18. Four.
Speaking to The Mirror, the 31-year-old single mother said her first child – conceived at the age of 18 – occurred despite having had the contraceptive injection; the second, while she was on the Pill; the third while she was on the Pill and also using condoms; and the fifth, after she was fitted with a copper coil.
She claims she was using all methods correctly.
“My GP was as shocked as I was,” Brown told the publication. “She’d never seen this although she knew it happens rarely. She finally agreed for me to be sterilised. It’s not ideal as I’m still young, but I didn’t have much choice.”
High-profile Sydney GP Dr Ginni Mansberg told Mamamia that while the story is undeniably shocking, women should not be alarmed.
"Of course, there is no 100 per cent guaranteed contraceptive. It just doesn't exist. So there will always be a proportion of women who get pregnant regardless of what they do. But to get pregnant four times [while effectively using contraception], we're talking like a one in a 'gazillion' chance. It's exceptionally rare," Dr Mansberg said.