Condoms, birth control pills, the coil, progesterone injections, and even implants can stop Gemma Potter from getting pregnant. The 23-year-old has conceived six times in five years, and is currently a mother of three with one on the way.
Although it only takes “one time” to get pregnant, Potter says she and her husband, Glenn, only had sex three times since September for fear that she would end up pregnant, and it still happened. She’s accused doctors of not taking her pregnancy woes seriously, considering the contraception journey she’s been on.
Potter was on the pill when she met her husband in May 2006, but she ended up pregnant three months later. She went back on the pill in May 2007, but by August she was pregnant again with her second child. Four weeks after her daughter was born, doctors told her to try the coil, saying it is the most effective form of contraception. She had it fitted in June 2008, but became pregnant again by November 2008. This time she miscarried at six weeks.
Switching to a contraceptive injection that was administered every 12 weeks didn’t help either. Potter had her second daughter after getting married in 2009. Next, she tried an implant which is said to be 99% effective, yet she still wound up pregnant and miscarried at 11 weeks. Now, back on the pill, Potter is 10 weeks pregnant again.
“I love my children but I don’t want any more. Unfortunately, termination just isn’t an option for us as it is not something I agree with,” she says.
“I can’t go out with my friends or have a drink because I am constantly pregnant. I have also completely missed out on having a job or any kind of career on my own.”
The financial burden of the children could also prove difficult down the line, she says.
“Thinking of other people that can’t have children makes me feel awful. Some people can try for years and years and it’s just not meant to be whereas I can’t stop getting pregnant.
“If I keep having children and it gets to the stage that I can’t afford them any more I would consider surrogacy.”
Maybe Potter needs to go back to the basics with the rhythm method or double up with perhaps a condom and another form of birth control. At this point, even a vasectomy or tubal ligation should be in order.
Have you ever heard of anything like this?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.