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    Effectiveness Rate of Birth Control Methods

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    Topic Overview

    This table compares how well different birth control methods work. The column on the right shows how many women out of 100 will have an unplanned pregnancy in the first year of using a method. These numbers reflect studies of real-life usage.

    You can improve on the real-life failure rate of birth control methods by consistently using birth control methods as directed. But even with perfect use, a method will still fail to prevent a pregnancy in a certain number of women.

    Effectiveness of birth control methods
    Type Method used Number of unplanned pregnancies out of 100 typical users1, 2 Number of unplanned pregnancies out of 100 people that used the method exactly as directed1, 2
    Hormonal

    Combination birth control pills

    9

    Fewer than 1.

    Hormonal implant

    Fewer than 1.

    Fewer than 1.

    The shot

    6

    Fewer than 1.

    Transdermal patch

    9

    Fewer than 1.

    Progestin-only pills (mini-pills)

    9

    Fewer than 1.

    Vaginal ring

    9

    Fewer than 1.

    IUD

    Hormonal IUD

    Fewer than 1.

    Fewer than 1.

    Copper IUD

    Fewer than 1.

    Fewer than 1.

    Barrier methods

    Condom, male

    18

    2

    Withdrawal

    22

    4

    Condom, female

    21

    5

    Diaphragm with spermicide

    12

    6

    Spermicide alone

    28

    18

    Sponge with spermicide (no previous vaginal childbirth)

    12

    9

    Sponge with spermicide (after vaginal childbirth)

    24

    20

    Cervical cap (no previous vaginal childbirth)

    16

    9

    Cervical cap (after vaginal delivery)

    32

    26

    Fertility awareness

    Periodic abstinence and fertility awareness methods

    24

    5

    Surgery

    Vasectomy

    Fewer than 1.

    Fewer than 1.

    Tubal ligation or tubal implants

    Fewer than 1.

    Fewer than 1.

    No birth control

    No birth control

    85

    85

    The numbers shown in this table show the typical use rates for the average population. This includes people who use their birth control very carefully and those who do not.

    1

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: 0/, 014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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