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How can you tell how effective birth control methods are?

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When doctors talk about how effective a birth control method is, sometimes there are different rates when it's used "ideally" -- meaning exactly the way it was designed -- versus how the average person uses it in real life. "Typical" use takes into account that people can't or don't always use birth control correctly or consistently. Keep in mind, out of every 100 women who don't use any form of birth control, you can expect about 85 to get pregnant within a year.

From: What's the Best Birth Control? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

The Kinsey Institute: "Choosing the Right Contraceptive Method."

Dailard, C. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, December 2003.

FDA: "Birth Control: Medicines to Help You."

UpToDate: "Pregnancy rate (percent) during first year of use of contraceptives" and "Emergency Contraception."

American Sexual Health Association: "Birth Control Method Comparison Chart."

Center for Young Women's Health: "Contraception: Success and Failure Rates of Contraceptives."

Guttmacher Institute: "Contraceptive Use in the United States."

CDC: "Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods."

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: "Choosing a Birth Control Method."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Progestin-Only Contraceptives."

Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Birth Control Methods Fact Sheet."

Liletta.

Mirena.

Skyla. 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 19, 2018

SOURCES:

The Kinsey Institute: "Choosing the Right Contraceptive Method."

Dailard, C. The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, December 2003.

FDA: "Birth Control: Medicines to Help You."

UpToDate: "Pregnancy rate (percent) during first year of use of contraceptives" and "Emergency Contraception."

American Sexual Health Association: "Birth Control Method Comparison Chart."

Center for Young Women's Health: "Contraception: Success and Failure Rates of Contraceptives."

Guttmacher Institute: "Contraceptive Use in the United States."

CDC: "Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods."

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: "Choosing a Birth Control Method."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Progestin-Only Contraceptives."

Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Birth Control Methods Fact Sheet."

Liletta.

Mirena.

Skyla. 

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on April 19, 2018

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