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The decision to use contraception is a personal one and is typically made to prevent pregnancies. When looking for reliable and effective contraception options, individuals turn to the expertise of medical professionals. If failed contraception leads to an unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to understand whether the healthcare professional’s actions or omissions were responsible.

At Friends Legal, we will walk you through each step of the compensation claims process. If you have experienced failed contraception and believe it may be due to medical negligence, you can phone us for a free consultation on 0333 3580 583

Understanding Failed Contraception

Failed contraception is when a contraceptive method fails to prevent an unintended pregnancy. While no contraceptive method can provide a 100% guarantee, it is the responsibility of medical professionals to ensure that the chosen method is fitted or administered correctly to minimise the risk of failure. 

When medical negligence happens in relation to contraception, it means that a healthcare provider has failed in their duty of care. 

Examples of Failed Contraception

  • Failed sterilisation procedures: Sterilisation procedures, such as vasectomy (male sterilisation) or tubal ligation (female sterilisation), are considered permanent methods of contraception. However, there are instances when these procedures fail and result in unexpected pregnancies. Whether it’s a surgical error or a misdiagnosis in your follow-up appointment, medical negligence may be present in your case.
  • Ineffective hormonal contraceptives: Contraceptives — such as oral pills, patches, injections, or implants — rely on the administration of hormones to prevent pregnancy. Errors in the administration or advice regarding these methods can lead to failure. 
  • Faulty contraceptive devices: Devices such as intrauterine devices (commonly known as IUDs) or diaphragms can fail due to manufacturing defects or improper insertion. These failures can result in an increased risk of pregnancy and potential pain and scarring for the patient. 

How to Prove Negligence with Failed Contraception

Proving negligence in a failed contraception case can be challenging. Unforeseen pregnancies can happen for various reasons: sometimes from a lack of contraceptive use, sometimes from inconsistent or incorrect use, and occasionally from correct use when the method itself falls short. 

To make a successful medical negligence claim for failed contraception, you must be able to prove the following elements: 

Duty of Care

The first step is establishing the duty of care between you and the healthcare provider. With failed contraception claims, this duty would be when you seek medical advice or undergo a contraceptive procedure. 

Breach of Duty 

Next, it must be shown that the healthcare professional breached their duty of care. For example, suppose a doctor didn’t adequately explain the potential side effects of a contraceptive method or a nurse improperly inserted an IUD. In such cases, these actions may constitute a breach of duty. 


Causation is establishing a link between the professional’s breach of duty and the harm suffered as a result. In failed contraceptive claims, this would be showing that the negligence directly led to the unwanted pregnancy and any subsequent physical, emotional, or financial consequences. 


Finally, you must demonstrate the damages suffered as a result of the medical negligence. Damages can include physical injuries, emotional distress, medical bills, loss of earnings, and any other relevant costs. The costs associated with raising a child with disabilities could be recoverable, however the costs of bringing up a healthy child are not. 

No Win, No Fee Negligence Lawyers

One of the concerns individuals may have when considering a failed contraception negligence claim is the financial cost associated with legal representation. At Friends Legal, our medical negligence lawyers operate on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis. This means you can pursue a compensation claim without worrying about upfront legal fees. 

Time Limit for Failed Contraception

You generally have a three-year window from the date of the contraceptive failure or from the time you became aware of possible negligence to initiate legal proceedings. The time limit can change for certain circumstances, so it’s always best to contact an experienced medical negligence lawyer as soon as possible. 

Failed Contraception Claims — Contact us for Specialist Medical Negligence Advice

Experiencing a failed contraception due to medical negligence can have significant physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Friends Legal offers a compassionate, client-centred approach when handling your medical negligence claim. Our lawyers will listen to your concerns, assess the merits of your claim, and provide you with honest and straightforward advice about your options. 

If you’ve suffered due to a failed contraception, contact us on 0333 3580 583 or fill in the online form and we’ll give you a callback at a time that suits you. 

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