Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Effectiveness Rate of Birth Control Methods

Font Size
A
A
A

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.
Next Article:

Effectiveness Rate of Birth Control Methods Topics

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
Balding man in mirror
Treatments & solutions.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
Remember your finger
Are you getting more forgetful?
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Close up of eye
12 reasons you're distracted.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
Myths and facts.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.