How Effective is Contraception

The effectiveness of your contraceptive method solely depends on the type of contraceptive you use, and whether you use it correctly.

One of the most important things is for you to follow the instructions and use them correctly. Some methods will be a lot more effective than others.

But, no contraceptive is 100% reliable, and below you have some of the most common contraceptives and their effectiveness.

There are many birth control methods:

LARC (long-active reversible contraceptive) methods

The good thing about LARC methods is that you do not have to take or use this method. There is no user failure, thus they are not going to be less effective than the typical user.

There are three LARC contraceptive methods:

  1. Contraceptive implant; with perfect use is over 99% effective. They will work for 3 years, but if you want, they can be taken out earlier. Less than 1 in 100 women get pregnant with contraceptive implants.
  2. IUS (intrauterine system); is over 99% effective. Usually, the intrauterine system will work for 3 to 5 years, which depends on the type. It can be taken out earlier as well, and less than 1 in 100 women get pregnant.
  3. IUD (intrauterine device); is over 99% effective. The intrauterine device can stay in place for 5 to 10 years, which again depends on the type. You can have it taken out at any time, and less than 1 in 100 women get pregnant after IUD.

Patch and ring

When used correctly, the contraceptive patch will be more than 99% effective. Each patch will last for a week, and you can change the patch weekly, for three weeks. After that, you need to have a week off, without the patch. In typical use, it is 91% effective, as around 9 in 100 women will still get pregnant.

Contraceptive injections

This method of contraception releases the hormone progestogen into the bloodstream and thus prevents pregnancy. It is most commonly given in the UK, and it will last for eight to thirteen weeks.

With perfect use, it is more than 99% effective, with less than 1 in 100 women getting pregnant. With typical use, however, it is 94% effective, with around 6 in 100 women getting pregnant.

Sterilization (permanent contraception)

If you are looking for more permanent contraception methods, there is the vasectomy (male sterilization) and tubal ligation (female sterilization) procedures.

Vasectomy is seen as a much safer option, as it can be done as an outpatient procedure with only local anesthesia, one is recovered under a week, and it is reversible.

  • Vasectomy: vasectomy, or male sterilization, is almost 100% effective. Only 1 in 2000 men could impregnate a woman after having a vasectomy. If you are interested in this procedure, you can talk to your doctor to find out more. There is a clinic for vasectomy in Western Sydney if you are interested.
  • Tubal ligations: is more than 99% effective. Around 1 in 100 women will still get pregnant.

Find a good doctor to perform the vasectomy; like Dr. Cashion

Contraceptive pill

There are two main contraceptive pills, the combined and progestogen-only pill. When these pills are used perfectly, they are more than 99% effective.

However, the typical use is around 91% effective, which means 9 out of 100 women will get pregnant.

Male and female condoms

The only types of contraceptives that will prevent unwanted pregnancies and keep you safe from STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are condoms. There are two types of condoms; external condoms are worn on the penis, internal condoms are worn inside of the vagina.

  1. External condoms: with perfect use, they are 98% effective, with about 2 in 100 women getting pregnant with partners who use external condoms. With typical use, they are around 82% effective, which means about 18 in 100 women will get pregnant.
  2. Internal condoms: with perfect use, they are 95% effective, with about 5 in 100 women still getting pregnant. With typical use, they are around 79% effective, with about 21 in 100 women still getting pregnant.

Diaphragms and caps

A contraceptive cap or diaphragm is a circular dome that is made out of soft and thin silicone and before sex, it is inserted into the vagina. With perfect use, they are 92% – 96% effective, with 4 – 8 out of 100 women still getting pregnant. With typical use, they are around 71% – 88% effective, with 12 to 29 out of 100 women getting pregnant.

Natural family planning

Also called fertility awareness, is a contraceptive method where a woman will monitor and record different fertility signs during the menstrual cycle, and thus know when she is likely to get pregnant.

This is a natural method of preventing unwanted pregnancies, but it can also be a bit complicated for some women.

About The Author:

Dr. Geoff  Cashion was born in Brisbane and grew up in Rockhampton. After graduating in medicine from the University of Queensland in 2002 he spent many years working in emergency medicine and general practice. He completed training in No scalpel vasectomy under Dr. Doug Stein in Florida with further training undertaken in Australia.

Love to Share