Surprise Pregnancies...Informal Study

What's available, do's and don'ts.

Planned/Unplanned pregnancies?

We are childless by choice.
All of our pregnancies have been planned.
Some pregnancies were planned, some were unplanned.
All of our pregnancies have been unplanned.
We use no birth control.
We use NFP/abstain from intercourse during fertile times.
We use FAM and use a barrier during fertile times.
We use condoms.
We use a diaphragm/cervical cap.
We use spermicide.
We use an IUD.
We use the pill (POP or combo).
We use the shot.
We use an implant.
We use the patch.
We use the sponge.
We use a combination of methods (explain in post).
Total votes: 827


Surprise Pregnancies...Informal Study

Postby futureMrsJaeger » Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:16 am

I wanted to do a very informal study on surprise pregnancies. I was wondering if all you married folk would mind sharing if you've had any surprise pregnancies, if so, what method were you using, and if you've had more than one.
Just an informal survey...would love to hear your feedback.

Lucy in the Sky

Postby Lucy in the Sky » Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:30 pm

How about the control group- those of us who haven't had any?



Postby pilotswife » Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:08 pm

When you mean surprise -- not trying?



Postby futureMrsJaeger » Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:36 pm

definition of surprise = at that time not planning to have a child and using family planning means of some form to avoid pregnancy at that time

Yes, I would like responses from those who haven't had any. Also, if you don't consider it an invasion of privacy, it would be nice to know which family planning method you used while NOT having surprise pregnancies. I want to do an informal percentage study on which birth control methods are most and least effective and a informal study on what percentage of married couples have surprise pregnancies versus not have surprise pregnancies. It will be interesting to see the results! Also, it would yield further helpful information if those who have unplanned pregnancies indicate whether they resulted from perfect or imperfect use of their family planning method. (In other words, if you accidentally missed a pill and got pregnant, versus taking your pill every day and becoming pregnant)


Postby WECSOG » Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:19 pm

A lot of thoughts run through my mind as I read this thread.

It's hard for me to to tell how far you have thought this out. If you've already thought it out extensively, and have a background in doing studies, then what I have typed below may be superfluous, in which case I appologise in advance.

I don't know if you'd like any input from any of us in healthcare as to study design and whatever conclusions you might draw.

If you're simply interested in a "weather report" or composite picture of the experiences of members on TMB, I wouldn't be surprised if Paul B. would assist you in composing multiple choice answers that people could check off as a poll. We certainly have a precedent of that kind of informal polling for a variety of topics.

On the whole, I think you'll have a hard time tabulating any information if people simply post typed-out answers. A poll at least puts things into a format that encourages some uniformity and facilitates tabulation.

It's also been consistently found that if you have to identify yourself in any fashion to answer a survey, you're going to have a different group of people who will respond, and you're also likely to get somewhat different answers from people as whole (even if certain individuals answer accurately, the group as whole may not).

The only way you're going to get responses on TMB that are more or less annonymous is to configure it as a poll.

I believe you're going to be able to get a composite of TMB members who decide to respond to a poll. Given that a small portion of TMB members are active in posting or poll participation, that may not turn out to be a sufficiently large enough number of people to be statistically valid. If you limit your conclusions to what you can glean from a composite of responding members, you probably won't go astray.

For example, the last couple times I looked at some of the polls that are already available, there might be 100+ responses after they've been up for a while.

Keep in mind that apart from any statistical limitations, you are also asking a question that people would report after the fact. So this is retrospective gathering of limited data. If you're really interested in determining the effectiveness of a method of contraception, you need to study it prospectively (going forward in time). That's not likely to happen within a poll on TMB.

Let me know if you'd like any input - it's OK to PM me. I can also think of other members who have an interest in thinking this kind of stuff through who might be available, too.


Postby futureMrsJaeger » Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:39 am

No, I don't have a background in doing studies. :) I just wanted to do an informal study. The fact is, I know that TMB doesn't necessarily represent the main population. It was more of a curiousity thing, because it absolutely drives me crazy when people automatically assume that you were "being careless" or using "poor planning" if you have a surprise pregnancy.
I guess what I wanted to confirm is that surprise pregnancies happen anyway on a semi-regular basis since all contraceptives fail and some fail quite often. In my talking with my married friends, clients, etc. I have talked to folks who have had surprise pregnancies and I guess that I wanted to see a larger segment of the population. You're right, though, it might be better to put it into poll style. I don't want to invade other people's privacy.

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Postby » Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:10 am

futureMrsJaeger wrote:No, I don't have a background in doing studies. :)
I guess what I wanted to confirm is ....

No offense here, but given you know what you want to confirm, you will do exactly that.

And I could set out to confirm the opposite, in this asme population and I would succeed in doing exactly that.

In formal talk it is called experimenter bias and and totally invalidates the results of even an informal study.

I'm not trying to get all over you here, but many people have a very flawed idea about what research looks like and believe they can disregar the results because people find something they don't agree with. You can't do that with good reseearch because of the safeguards against bias and a whole bunch of other stuff that is built in.

I am afraid that if you do this 'study' you will find out nothing that you didn't already 'know'.

Not meant as a snark against you, but rather a PSA about reserach in general.

Can you tell I teach research and statistics too?



Postby futureMrsJaeger » Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:51 pm

Fair enough. I'll skip the study.


Postby kaycee » Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:00 am

OKAY if you don't want a "study" but only stories from those of us that had a "surprise" I could share. We were actually trying to have children the first time but our second was a "surprise". My wife was still breastfeeding and not having any periods when we got our "surprise". The only "birth control method" was the breatfeeding and no periods.


Postby Proverbs2121 » Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:21 am

We were on NFP, but we used condoms all the time and skipped my few fertile days.

Then one night, we were celebrating our anniversary about a month early and no condom was used. We knew - we just knew.

I had an awful pregnancy and a very long delivery that ended in a c-section.

The other two were planned. I know what month I wanted their birthdays to be in and we did it. They are also five years apart.

Hope that helps :wave


Postby nmwife » Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:57 pm

We actually thought we could no longer have children since my dh had a vascetomy after our second son was born! He had it done Jan 2004. Well in Feb 2005, we went away for our anniversary. I knew I was ovulating, so I jokingly said to my dh "Wouldn't it be funny if we got pregnant?" His reply was "yeah whos would it be?" anyway we laughed it off and had a great weekend :oops:

Well it turns out that we did end up concieving that night :shock: :D
It is a good thing that both of us were kindof regreting the vascetomy and still wanted another child. I had jsut thrown away all the baby bottles after our youngest turned one and was feeling very sad about it. We didn't really talk about our feelings before the vasectomy and dh was simply being selfish when he did it. I will say now though, that I think 3 is perfect for us, since we will have 3 BOYS and I don't know if I can hanlde another.

Hope this helps your studie :) God bless


Postby October10th » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:51 pm

futureMrsJaeger wrote:Fair enough. I'll skip the study.

Can we assume that you are looking for an answer since you are the "future Mrs." to Mr. Jaeger and are now or will eb newly married and want to know what works best or what combinations have failed for others?

If so, then don't skip the study based on what the others said. We know what you are asking and most will gladly answer your question. Not sure why the "medical staff" would be so down on it. :D I've been on the board for a while and these things pop up all the time.

We have not had any unplanned. We use condoms, but I'm rarely in my wife (I think for fear reasons of her part that it'll break as she had an unplanned pregnancy before she met me).

I have one daughter and another on the way, both were planned. First one we got on the first try, the second one on the second cycle. She's quite the fertile wife.


Postby MamaTo4247 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:59 pm

October10th wrote:Not sure why the "medical staff" would be so down on it. :D

I think it's simply the idea that it's a "study" of any kind, when it's really just a collection of anecdotal evidence. Which is fine -- I think it's mostly just wanting to make sure the correct terminology is used, which is a good thing.

But a poll about pregnancy and how planned/unplanned things were might be interesting. I'll see about getting one up soon.

ETA: Okay, I put this up. If anyone can think of any other options, let me know and I'll try to fix it!



Postby vinedresser » Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:12 pm

After 18 years, we have used quite a few forms of birth control- I hated them all, except for abstinence during ovulation- but I ended up getting pregnant (our sixth pregnancy- we miscarried one). My body just does not react well to artificial hormones (depression & major migraines)- and spermicides sting internally, making sex no fun. After our fifth child was born, (in fact the day of), he got a vas. That is technically the birth control we are using now :wink:

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Postby Drew's Girl » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:09 pm

I would call all of mine surprises but I think others would not.

DD- we had been trying but did not get pregnant for three months... we decided to not try any longer since my dh had just gotten a new job. Well we ended up pregnant that very next month... I was gonna start using our BC again but I didn't!

DS- We were planning to try and had stopped using BC 6 months prior. We were offically planning to start trying in May.... I found out on Mother's Day that we were already expecting!! It must've been from the practice round!

DS- We knew we could get pregnant but didn't care and did it anyway. I knew from that day we would be having another one! He is so cute too!

I am blessed by the birth of all my kids and I would love to have as many more!
Last edited by Drew's Girl on Sun Nov 27, 2005 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Asrai Faerie

Postby Asrai Faerie » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:16 pm

We have five children, all were planned and spaced the way we wanted.
Our method is and has always been withdraw. It takes me between 1-3 months to get knocked up each time we try.

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Postby thebigfish » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:19 pm

We were using the rhythm methon when our third child was concieved. It was a surprize. However my grandfather used to say " if your in the battle you're liable to get shot!" :shock:

Asrai Faerie

Postby Asrai Faerie » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:38 pm

thebigfish wrote:my grandfather used to say " if your in the battle you're liable to get shot!" :shock:

::rofl ::rofl ::rofl ::rofl ::rofl ::rofl ::rofl ::rofl ::rofl ::rofl ::rofl

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Postby Balkie » Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:18 pm

thebigfish wrote:We were using the rhythm methon when our third child was concieved. It was a surprize. However my grandfather used to say " if your in the battle you're liable to get shot!" :shock:

Our second child was a welcome surprise. :shock:

We too, had been using the rythem method, sort of: We refrained from sex on days when my wife was fertile so she would not get pregnant, the rest of the days we refrained because she was not in the mood.:wink:

One day out of the blue after 8 months of nothing she let me ML to her and voila. It earned me the nickname of "sure shot."


Postby MrsJudahFish » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:48 am

We got pregnant with our first son 9 months after we got married. It was a total surprise but a very welcome one since we knew about how far we wanted to space our children apart but we did not know when to start having them! We were using condoms and spermicide at the time.

DS number 2 and DS number 3 were both planned. We were using FAM. I got pregnant the 2nd month with #2 and the first try with #3.

FAM has been working for us for 5 years now so I think we'll stick with it.

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