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Effectiveness of Birth Control Methods


Birth control effectiveness relates to human error. Generally, the LESS you have to do, the MORE effective the option.


Birth control methods are good at preventing pregnancy when used consistently and correctly.
Check out the difference between Perfect Use and Typical Use.
Make sure your method of choice is being used correctly!

Method Perfect Use Typical Use Pregnancies* Risk Reduction for STIs
Abstinence 100% 100% 0 Some. Oral and anal sex have some risk.
Sterilization 99+% 99+% 0-1 None
Depo-Provera 99+% 97% 3 None
IUD 99+% 99+% 0-1 None
Birth Control Pills 99+% 92% 8 None
Contraceptive Patch 98-99% 92% 8 None
Intravaginal Ring (Nuva Ring) 98-99% 92% 8 None
Emergency Contraception Pills 75-89% 75-89% 11-25 None
Male Condom 98% 85% 15 Good against fluid STIs, fair against others
Coitus Interruptus (Withdrawal) 96% 81% 19 None
Diaphragm 94% 84% 16 None
Cervical Cap:
Given birth
Never given birth
 
74%
91%
 
68%
84%
 
32
16
None
Female Condom 95% 79% 21 Some
Natural Family Planning (Rhythm) N/A 75% 25 None
Spermicide 82% 81% 19 None
No Method (Chance or "Luck") 15% 15% 85 None
Method Perfect Use Typical Use Pregnancies* Risk Reduction for STIs

* number of pregnancies in 100 typical users over one year's use

Sources: Hatcher, Robert, et al. Contraceptive Technology. (18th edition). New York: Irvington Publishers, Inc., 2004.