Which contraceptive methods are rated most effective?

Today, it seems that there are several options to choose from when it comes to birth control. A pill, a patch, a ring; you name it! How effective are all of these methods though? Let’s explore them a little.

According to statistics, implants such as an intrauterine device (IUD), are said to be the most effective method when trying to avoid pregnancy. After the implantation procedure, nothing else really needs to be done or remembered by the patient. This is appealing for those that struggle remembering to take a pill everyday or something of the sort. There are two types of IUD’s: hormonal and copper. Both are said to be highly effective and cause an average of less than 1 pregnancy per 100 women in a year.

Second in line for the most effective birth control method includes: injections, pills, patches, rings, and diaphragms. All of these options are said to cause an average of 6-12 pregnancies per 100 women in a year. With these comes more responsibility placed on the woman. Injections need to be repeated on time, a pill needs to be taken at the same time daily, a patch and ring need to be kept in place and changed on time, and a diaphragm has to be used correctly during intercourse.

The least effective contraceptive methods are condoms, withdrawal, spermicides, and sponges. These methods are said to cause more than 18 pregnancies per 100 women in a year, and to increase effectiveness, they must be used correctly every time intercourse takes place. Women run more of a risk in getting pregnant when it comes to these methods and should be aware of the times in the month when they are most fertile. Avoiding sex during these times or using extra protection and caution can help in decreasing the chance of pregnancy.

There are back-and-forth opinions when it comes to all of the contraceptive methods and their effectiveness. Reports have been made that the IUD is uncomfortable, felt during intercourse, and can even fall out. Pills and other daily methods may be more difficult with having to be managed everyday. The list goes on and on depending on the method. Talk to your doctor thoroughly about your body and any questions you might have about these birth control methods. Let them help find the best option for you!

Source: Effectiveness of Family Planning Methods. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. www.cdc.gov.

There is a clinical trial currently underway in Utah examining an oral birth control method.