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What should you think about when deciding the best birth control method?

ANSWER

What's "best" among birth control methods differs from person to person. What's right for you may not be right for everyone. And your needs may change over time, too. You should think about:

  • How fail-proof do you need your protection plan to be?
  • How much does the cost matter?
  • How important is your privacy?
  • Do you have a regular partner whose needs you care about?
  • Do you need to protect against sexually transmitted diseases?
  • How much effort do you want to make to prevent a pregnancy?
  • If you're a woman, does it matter if your period is affected?
  • Will you some day want to have a child?

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

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

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

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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