Failure of contraception: Where to have a safe abortion?

Contraception or birth control refers to the process that intends to prevent a woman from getting pregnant. If the woman’s ovum (egg) gets fertilized by the sperm, it may result in pregnancy.

Contraception prevents this fertilization and thus the pregnancy. Or it may aim to prevent egg or sperm production. Some contraceptives are designed to prevent the fertilized egg from implantation and growth.

But what if the contraceptive methods you are using fail and you get pregnant? Well, this was not your part of the plan. And what next?

For your kind reference, nearly 40% of pregnancies occurring worldwide are unintended. And nearly 90% of them end up with an abortion. But abortions are not easily available to all women equally.

Abortions are governed by the rules for abortions framed by each country. And there are many countries where abortions are absolutely illegal. Even in countries where abortions are legal, the abortion rules may be highly restricted.

This post intends to help such couples, especially women seeking abortions in events of contraception failure. Eventually, you will learn where to obtain a legal, safe and confidential abortion.

The countries with restricted abortion rules hardly allow any woman to terminate an unwanted pregnancy that has resulted from contraceptive failure.

Let us first begin with different methods of contraception and their efficiencies.

Contraceptive methods and their failure rates:

Whenever a couple has used contraception, the first thing that may come to their minds is:

“Pregnancy is impossible. The pregnancy test may be false. We used contraception. How is it possible?”

But the truth is that the woman is pregnant and the pregnancy is unwanted. To absorb this fact and understand how do contraceptive measures fail, let us discuss each of the available methods.  

Contraceptive methods are broadly classified into two categories:

  1. Reversible methods of birth control
  2. Irreversible methods of birth control

Reversible methods of birth control:

These are the temporary contraceptive measures that are used for some time. And when the couple seeks pregnancy, these methods can be stopped and fertility restored. These are the most common methods of contraception used worldwide since the complete loss of fertility is not a preferred choice.

Let us briefly discuss the different types of reversible contraceptive methods, their effectiveness and the failure rates.

Intrauterine Contraception:

Copper-T Intrauterine Device (IUD):

You must have heard about Copper-T and may even have used one. It is placed inside the uterus and may be used consecutively for up to 10 years with some brands. Some other brands may be used for up to 5 years. Its failure rate is 0.8%.

Levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG IUD): 

LNG IUD is a T-shaped device similar to Copper-T and is placed inside the uterus. It releases regular doses of progestin that acts as hormonal protection from getting pregnant. The device may be used from 3-6 years with a failure rate estimated between 0.1-0.4%.

Point to remember: 

In most cases of contraceptive failure of an intrauterine device, the pregnancies resulting are ectopic. Ectopic pregnancies are medical emergency cases needing immediate removal. They may not only affect your future fertility rate but may also be fatal.

If you miss your period even with a contraceptive failure, get an ultrasound or a transvaginal scan at the earliest. If your pregnancy is ectopic, get it removed at the earliest. 

Schedule an appointment at American Hospital Bangalore (AHB) for getting both the pregnancy tested and a single-appointment abortion procedure. 

Hormonal Contraception methods:


It is a slender and tiny rod that is implanted in the woman’s upper arm. From here, it regularly releases progestin in the woman’s body that prevents her from getting pregnant. Its life may be up to 3 years and the failure rate is 0.1%.

Progestin injection:

This is a hormonal injection that a woman can get injected intramuscularly in the buttocks region or upper arm every three months. It may be stopped when trying to conceive. The failure rate of progestin injection may be as large as 4%.

Oral contraceptive pills:

Oral contraceptives mean the pills to be popped in regularly. The most commonly used abortion pill contains a combination of two hormones, progestin and estrogen. It has to be taken daily around the same time. However, you may be advised to use the same or not as the doctor may seem convenient for your case-specific.

There is another pill, a Progestin-only pill. It also works similarly.

The failure rate of oral contraceptive pills is as high as 7%.


It is a skin patch that is worn either on the upper body or lower abdomen or buttocks region. From here, it releases estrogen and progestin. A single patch is worn once a week for three weeks. No patch is used on the fourth week of the menstrual cycle for a normal period. Its failure rate is similar to that of pills, up to 7%.

Hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring: 

A small ring is placed inside the vagina that releases the two hormones. Unlike a patch, it may be worn for three weeks. The fourth week is of periods after which a new ring is to be worn.

Its failure rate is also 7%. So, nearly all hormonal contraceptives have a high failure rate of up to 7%. 

Coming to the physical barrier contraception methods.

Barrier Contraception methods:

Diaphragm or cervical cap:

These are cup-shaped devices placed in the vagina. They block the sperm from reaching the egg.

Whether you are using a diaphragm or a cervical cap, it is meant to be inserted into the cervix before intercourse.

During intercourse, sperms either get killed if spermicide is used along. Or at least they block the sperm from reaching the egg.

They are usually associated with fitting problems and size variations. Hence, the failure rate with them is also very high; as much as 17%. 

Contraceptive sponge with spermicide:

It refers to a piece of sponge containing spermicide in it. Its effect lasts for up to 24-hours. After intercourse, it has to be left there for up to 6 hours after which it has to be removed and discarded.

The failure rate with contraceptive sponges varies widely in women. Research suggests its failure in 14% of women who never had a baby. And in women who have had a baby, its failure rate is much higher, 27%.

Male condom:

Male condoms are one-time use barrier contraceptives. They collect semen in them and prevent contact of sperm and egg.

They come in various materials, latex being the most common. Synthetic and lambskin condoms come only with a few brands. They are worn before intercourse. The semen gets collected in the same. After that, it is removed and discarded. Ex. Durex, Manforce.

In India, government hospitals distribute male condoms free of cost as a measure of birth control and prevention of Sexually Transmitted diseases (STDs).

The failure rate of male condoms is also a significant figure, 13%.

Female condom:

As the name suggests, it is worn by the woman and can be kept inserted up to eight hours before intercourse. After that, it is removed and discarded. Its failure rate is approximately 21%.


Spermicides are the medical products that kill sperms. They may come in various forms like gel, cream, foam, suppository, tablet or a thin film. They may be applied in the cervix region an hour before the intercourse and may be left up to 6-8 hours post that.

Their failure rate is nearly 21%. 

Emergency contraception:

There are events of unprotected sexual intercourse which may require emergency contraception.

There may be other occasions such as rupture of a condom which may also require emergency contraception.

Emergency contraceptive pills are available at pharmacies that can be availed within 72 hours. Some may be available Over the counter (OTC) at a chemist shop. Example: i-pill, Unwanted 72

While for some others, a prescription from a registered medical practitioner may be required.

All these were reversible methods of contraception. Other methods cannot be reversed. They are known as irreversible contraception methods.

Irreversible or Permanent contraception methods:

Female sterilization:

In this method, the fallopian tubes of the woman are tied or closed. This prevents the sperm from entering the tube and getting in contact with the egg.

It is a small surgical procedure lasting not more than 10 minutes. It is performed by registered medical practitioners authorized to perform surgical procedures.

Its failure rate is very low, 0.5%.

Male sterilization:

It is also known as Vasectomy. It is a surgical procedure in which the sperms produced in testes are stopped from entering the penis. This then prevents the sperms from being present in the ejaculate and hence conception.

This method is also performed only by registered surgeons. Its failure rate is 0.15%.

There is another method of male contraception and that is Salpingectomy in which the tube that takes the sperms to the penis is removed.

(Reference for the effectiveness of contraception methods: Contraceptive technology. 21st ed. New York, NY: Ayer Company Publishers, Inc., 2018.)

Natural methods of birth control:

Besides reversible and irreversible methods of contraception, there are some other natural methods of birth control.

These may include:

  1. Not ejaculating inside the cervix is the withdrawal method.
  2. Assessing the ‘fertile ‘window’ and the ‘safe period’. Fertile window refers to the probable fertile days, i.e. when the woman ovulates and there are chances of conception.

A safe period is a month except for the fertile window when the probability of getting pregnant is zero to a minimum.

Failure rates with natural methods of contraception vary upon usage and from woman to woman and from method to method. Their failure rates hence may be as low as 2% and as high as 23%.

Why do contraceptives fail?

It is a natural assumption with contraception that they will check you from getting pregnant. And that’s really true to an extent. However, there is another fact, “No contraception ensures 100% effectiveness.”

Some of the reasons for contraceptive failure are dependent on the user and some may be due to faulty products. In addition, there may be others where an inefficient method is prescribed. For example, some women may not take estrogen pills. Consequently, they may need an alternate method of contraception.

Some of the reasons include:

  • Wrong instructions regarding usage. As a result, contraceptive may fail and end up in an unwanted pregnancy.
  • The person may not know exactly how and when to use it for best results finally leading into an unintended pregnancy and want for abortion.
  • Faulty products such as a leaked condom or its rupture.
  • Equally important is the consumer behavior. Forgetting or not being able to take the pill on time may as well result in an unplanned pregnancy.

Similarly, there may be many other reasons for contraceptive failure.

As per the Guttmacher survey, nearly 85 million unintended pregnancies occur annually across the world. Out of these, nearly 74 million are in the developing countries of which 30% can be attributed to contraceptive failure.


But does your country allow abortion for this reason?

Where to have an abortion if contraceptives failed?

Contraceptive failure is a major contributor resulting in unplanned pregnancies. If you too are seeking a solution for the same, then this section of the post is for you. 

Dolefully, abortions in many countries are illegal and in many other countries, they are restricted. Moreover, contraceptive failure reason is not taken a valid reason for abortion in many of these countries.

Abortion in India:

If you are living in Middle East countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Iraq and similar ones, you know that abortion there is impossible for the reason of birth control.

However, there is a piece of good news for you. You can still avail of legal abortion in a country where abortion rules are women-friendly. And that’s none other than India.

In India, you can avail of legal abortion for the reason of contraceptive failure. Moreover, you need not be an Indian citizen to avail yourself the same. All abortions in India are governed equally for all women regardless of their citizenship.

So, whether you are a Malayali ex-pat, a Filipina or a non-resident Indian (NRI) living in Gulf countries or a foreign woman, you can avail of a legal abortion just like any Indian woman.

Permissible gestation age:

The permissible gestation period up to which you can avail of legal abortion in India is up to 20 weeks in normal circumstances. And contraceptive failure is a normal circumstance. So, you can expect to receive a legal abortion in India for up to 20 weeks.

But do not delay in seeking an abortion. An increase in gestation may narrow down your available period. Also, with an increase in gestation age, there may be an increase in complications, especially if you are suffering from any co-existing medical condition.

So, plan a short abortion trip to India at the earliest.

Abortion in India and marital status:

Another sigh of relief for you is that you may or may not be married to avail of legal abortion in India. You can obtain an abortion even as an unmarried girl or a single mother.

In many countries like as mentioned above, getting pregnant out of wedlock is considered a legally punishable act. And abortion is deemed as a criminal act and hence, abortions are denied for such women.

So, unmarried girls out there carrying unwanted pregnancies may travel to India for a legal, safe and confidential abortion.

Consent for abortion in India:

There is a reason why the Indian abortion law is regarded as women-friendly. It not only respects women’s reproductive rights but also their choices.

An adult woman, i.e., any girl above the age of 18 years can obtain an abortion in India only on her consent. It is only in the case of minors and mentally incapable girls that consent from parents is needed.

So, you may not need spousal consent (married) or partner’s consent (unmarried) also if you want an abortion in India.

Now India is a vast country, seventh-largest in the world. Where to have a legal, safe and confidential abortion? So, here is the answer:

Abortion at American Hospital Bangalore (AHB), Bangalore, India:

Why you should travel to India for legal abortion is clear by now. But why should you receive an abortion procedure at AHB is defined by the benefits it offers.

It is the only abortion clinic in India that delivers specialized and personalized abortion experiences. Unlike other centres, it is a calm and relaxing place where you may feel comfortable. You can obtain a Gentle care abortion procedure and return stress-free with a completed successful abortion.

Benefits of abortion at AHB:

There are several benefits of an abortion procedure at AHB and each patient has a unique experience. You can take guidance from independent reviews and testimonials of its happy patients.

But for helping you make a well-informed decision, here are some of the many reasons for you to have an abortion in Bangalore at AHB.

Ease of access:

AHB is located in the heart of Bangalore city. It is well-connected at both domestic and international levels. Hence, the hospital sees many visitors from other cities like Mangalore, Chennai, Thrissur, Trivandrum, Coimbatore, Kochi and more. And its access is not limited to Indian patients. Many international patients choose AHB as their choicest abortion destination.

So, if you too are planning to travel to Bangalore, you may check out the flight options. Or if you are coming by railway, like that from a different Indian city, you may check the train schedules. Or for buses, you may book one online here:

Since you may get discharged from the hospital the same day, you may rest in a nearby hotel until your return flight.

For travelling to the hospital, you may use any local means of transport or hire a local cab.

But before making any travel arrangements, it is best that you speak at AHB’s helpline number or just message them to schedule an appointment. Since the care is highly personalised, only limited slots are available per day.

After having an appointment, you may schedule your trip.

Certified abortion hospital:

AHB is a certified abortion clinic in Bangalore that has received all its accreditations, recognitions and certifications necessary to perform legal and safe abortions.

Registered medical Practitioners:

The abortion performing doctors at AHB are highly qualified and experienced. They have been conducting safe abortion procedures for decades.

The abortion team:

Besides the gynaecologists, AHB’s nurses and other assisting staff are also well-qualified. They receive international training from time to time to upgrade their skills.

Besides being best at their professional arena, they are compassionate, caring, supportive and non-judgmental. You can openly discuss your case with the doctor. No personal questions are asked. Instead, a professional and high-quality abortion service is provided.

Together they form a qualified and experienced best abortion team.

Comprehensive abortion care (CAC):

Abortion care at AHB starts with the patient’s first call and lasts until post-abortion recovery. The best abortion procedure according to the patient-specific needs is prescribed. The patient’s choices are respected and a Gentle care abortion is performed.

Healthcare facilities:

AHB keeps itself abreast of the latest medical techniques and tools to make each patient’s abortion experience as comfortable as possible.

Abortion procedures:

At AHB, abortion procedures are conducted following the guidelines for CAC by the World Health Organization (WHO). The three safe methods of abortion available at AHB include:

  1. The medical method of abortion is available for up to 6-8 weeks of gestation.
  2. Vacuum aspiration or suction method of abortion may be availed up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and
  3. Surgical abortion or Dilatation and Evacuation (D&E) method of abortion may be employed for terminating pregnancies up to 20 weeks.

All abortion procedures at AHB are:

  • Gentle-care
  • Painless
  • Nearly 100% efficient
  • Single-appointment
  • Same-day discharge, no overnight hospital stay
  • Safe: All preventive measures are taken to keep off the risks with abortions.
  • Confidential: Private one-to-one consultation is provided. The patient’s personal details and abortion status are kept confidential.

Standards followed:

Since the hospital sees patients seeking high-quality safe abortion procedures, it ensures compliance to USA medical standards.

Patient’s satisfaction is the priority and the hospital strives to achieve it for all its patients.

American Hospital Bangalore has also been recognized at international levels for its unparalleled services.

Schedule your abortion appointment today. Do not delay.

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  3. First Trimester Abortion: Everything you may need to know!
  4. Associated risks with abortion pills, some Myths and Facts
  5. Abortion at 20 weeks pregnancy: What to do and how to plan?