How Effective Are The Different Methods
The list below shows how effective each of the 15 different methods are, and how often you need to use them or think about them .
The effectiveness of each method is worked out by calculating how many women get pregnant if 100 women use the method for a year.
For example, if a particular contraceptive method is 99% effective, 1 woman out of every 100 who uses it will get pregnant in a year.
Some methods listed below, such as the pill, include the phrase “if used correctly”.
This is because people who use these methods have to use them every time they have sex, or remember to take or apply them every day, week or month.
If the method is not used correctly, it will not be as effective.
Contraceptives that are more than 99% effective:
Contraceptives that are 99% effective if used according to teaching instructions:
- symptothermal method of natural family planning
Contraceptives that are 98% effective if used correctly:
Contraceptives that are 95% effective if used correctly:
Contraceptives that are 92 to 96% effective if used correctly:
- diaphragm or cap with spermicide
Birth Control And High Blood Pressure: Which Methods Are Safe For You
- By Huma Farid, MD, Contributor
Three effective forms of birth control contain the hormone estrogen: the birth control patch, combined hormonal birth control pills, and a vaginal ring. Doctors have typically recommended that women avoid birth control with estrogen if they have high blood pressure, which current US guidelines define as 130 mm Hg systolic pressure and 80 mm Hg diastolic pressure, or higher. A recent clinical update in JAMA clarifies whether its safe for some women with high blood pressure to use these forms of birth control.
Which Birth Control Methods Do Not Contain Estrogen
So, what can women who are unable to use birth control containing estrogen use to prevent pregnancy? The good news is that there are a variety of other birth control methods available, both hormonal and nonhormonal.
- The most reliable forms of birth control without estrogen are the copper intrauterine device , the hormonal IUD, the implant, and sterilization for women or men.
- Nonhormonal methods include the copper IUD, condoms for men or women, cervical cap, and diaphragm.
- Three progestin-only hormonal methods are safe to use: the minipill, the birth control implant, or the hormonal IUD. However, the birth control shot is not recommended for women who have poorly controlled high blood pressure.
If you do have high blood pressure, exercise and dietary changes remain an important component of maintaining your heart health. Discuss with your doctor which birth control options might be best for you, so that you and your doctor can engage in shared decision-making about your preferences.
See the Harvard Health Birth Control Centerfor more information on options.
About the Author
Huma Farid, MD, Contributor
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How To Start Taking The Minipill
Before starting the minipill, talk to your doctor about what day to begin.
You can start using this pill on any day of your menstrual cycle, but depending on where you are in your cycle, you may have to use a backup birth control method for a few days.
If you start taking the minipill during the first 5 days of your period, you should be fully protected, and you wont need any additional contraception.
If you start on any other day, youll need to use an extra method of protection for at least 2 days.
If your period has a short cycle, you should use additional birth control until youve been on the minipill for at least 2 days.
All oral contraceptives have potential side effects, and they vary in intensity from person to person.
The Cleveland Clinic reports these side effects from the progestin-only minipill:
How To Use The Birth Control Sponge
You can insert the sponge up to 24 hours before you have sex. To do so:
The sponge must stay in place for at least 6 hours after you have sex. But donât leave it in for more than 30 hours total.
To take it out, gently pull on the strap. It may help to bear down with your vaginal muscles. If theyâre too tight to remove it, wait a few minutes and try again.
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How Does The Birth Control Sponge Work
The sponge protects against pregnancy in three ways:
- The spermicide kills sperm cells for 24 hours. You can have sex during that time without needing more spermicide.
- Itâs designed to trap and absorb before the sperm have a chance to enter your cervix, which connects the to the uterus.
- It acts as a physical barrier between the sperm and the cervix.
Whats The Difference Between Hormonal And Non
Before discussing these non-hormonal options, it firstly pays to know a little bit about how each contraceptive method works.
Hormonal birth control options work by introducing hormones to the body. Specifically, hormonal contraceptives commonly use both synthetic estrogen and progesterone . Both of these hormones are key players in managing the menstrual cycle.
Introducing these synthetic hormones to the body helps put the menstrual cycle to sleep, so to speak. Most options work by inhibiting the release of eggs . No eggs means no fertilization can occur. In other words, no pregnancy.
Common hormonal contraceptive options include:
- Natural family planning
Condoms are perhaps the single-most popular non-hormonal birth control method. Theyre great not only because they help prevent pregnancy, but also because they help protect against sexually transmitted infections, or STIs .
Barrier forms of birth control will not always prevent pregnancy and STIs. Instead, they merely reduce this risk.
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Diaphragm And Cervical Cap
Unintended pregnancy in one year of use: 17% typical use, 16% perfect use .
Diaphragms and cervical caps are barrier methods that are both placed over the cervix and used with spermicide . Cervical caps are smaller than diaphragms and fit tightly around the cervix . Diaphragms stay in place by sitting behind the pubic bone . Diaphragms and cervical caps do not protect against STIs . Both are available in the USA with a prescription.
There is also a one-size-fits-all diaphragm, Caya . A healthcare provider may have you insert Caya during the visit and then perform a pelvic exam to make sure that it was placed in the right position . Water-based spermicide should also be used with Caya .
Okay What Is The Best Form Of Birth Control For Me
To discover the right type of birth control pill for you, you may want to start by considering what makes you unique. For instance, are there any past health conditions that put you at a higher risk of complications? What about current health issues and their impact on oral contraceptives? Are you taking any medications or supplements? Consider your lifestyle and preferences, as well, since these are part of your individual makeup.
Considering whats unique about you is one decisive way to ensure you start with the right question: which birth control pill is best for me?
Once youve looked at individual needs, turn to your highest priority birth control benefits. You may be interested in the pill for reasons beyond safe sex. Most women want to use a form of birth control that doesn’t cause weight gain. Perhaps you care most about finding a pill that will help clear up acne. Or maybe youve always struggled with severe PMS and heavy bleeding, and you’re looking for relief.
If your priority is finding the best birth control to avoid weight gain, you may look at a pill that contains estrogen.
If you want a pill that will help with heavy periods or acne, you may want to find a pill that contains estrogen. Maybe you want to minimize the side effects of higher-dose meds. If so, we encourage you to check out low-hormone birth control pills. Again, if youre over 35, a smoker, or at high risk of blood clots, the safest option would likely be a pill with no estrogen.
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Birth Control Sponge Effectiveness
Of 100 women who have never had a baby and who use the sponge in a typical year, about 14 will get pregnant. This means it is 86% effective.
Does the sponge protect against sexually transmitted diseases?
The Best Birth Control Options For Avoiding Weight Gain
Does birth control make you gain weight? In rare cases, it may. When you start taking birth control, you may also experience side effects such as headaches, mood changes, breast tenderness, irregular menstrual bleeding, and blood clots in even rarer cases. In this article, we aim to answer all of your questions concerning birth control and provide you with several options for birth control without hormones.
When starting birth control or changing the method you use, youll also want to consult with an expert. If you are looking for the best gynecologist in Miami, Fl, dont worry, weve got you covered.
So, does birth control make you moody? Also, what are the best non-hormonal birth control options? Find out below.
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Where Can I Get Birth Control Pills
First, a person needs a prescription from a doctor. Then, they can get the pills:
- Online: Several retailers offer birth control pills online with a valid prescription, and some companies have doctors on staff who provide consultations and prescriptions.
- At pharmacies: Most have some of the more common types of birth control pills already in stock.
- Clinics: Several low- or no-cost clinics offer birth control pills to people without insurance or with insufficient coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions Expand All
You can start using this method for the first time at any point during your menstrual cycle. But you and your obstetriciangynecologist or other health care professional should be reasonably sure you are not pregnant. Follow these directions:
If you start taking the pills within the first 5 days after the start of your menstrual period, no additional birth control method is needed.
If you start taking the pills more than 5 days after the start of your period, you need to use an additional birth control method or avoid sexual intercourse for the next 2 days.
If you are switching from another form of birth control, simply stop using the other method at the same time you start the progestin-only pills. If it has been more than 5 days since your period started, use an additional birth control method or avoid sex for the next 2 days.
If you are switching from an intrauterine device , you have a few options. You can wait until you have been taking the pills for at least 2 days to have the IUD removed. You can use another form of birth control or avoid sex for the 2 days before removing the IUD and starting the pills. Or you can use emergency contraception at the time of IUD removal.
Certain medications may interfere with the effectiveness of the progestin-only pill. These medications include
rifampin, a drug used to treat certain infections
some drugs used to prevent seizures
It stops ovulation.
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How Does Hormonal Birth Control Work
Hormonal birth control contains a combination of the female hormones estrogen and progestin or can be progestin only. Hormonal birth control methods prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation, increasing the thickness of mucus in the cervix as a barrier to sperm, and/or stopping fertilized eggs from implanting into the uterus. There are a variety of formulations and forms of hormonal birth control, including pills, patches, hormonal intrauterine devices , shots, vaginal rings and coils. Your reason for taking hormonal birth control, lifestyle, health issues and any side effects you experience may determine which method of birth control your healthcare provider recommends for you.
How Do I Know If I Should Switch Birth Control
If youre not satisfied with your current birth control pillfor example, due to side effectsits a good idea to discuss better options with your healthcare provider. Hang in there for the first three months to see how your body will do with your current pill. Its also important to discuss any new health conditions or medication history that might affect your current pills safety and effectiveness.
Who shouldnt take birth control?
You have any of the following risk factors, it is not recommended that you take any combination birth control as it can increase your chance of experiencing blood clots, strokes, and heart attack.
- You are over 35 years of age and smoke.
- You are scheduled to have surgery that will reduce your mobility for extended periods.
- You have a history of heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism.
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Whats The Best Birth Control
The best birth control is the one that most effectively prevents pregnancy and fits with your lifestyle. Generally, a male condom plus another form of birth control is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy.
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.
Hereâs what to think about when choosing a kind of birth control:
- 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 someday want to have a child?
Does Phexxi Have Any Side Effects Or Risks
According to the FDA, the following symptoms or conditions are listed as potential side effects of using Phexxi:
- Vaginal burning
- Pain when you pee
- Vulvovaginal pain
Phexxi isnât perfect, and experts are particularly concerned about the 86% effectiveness. âIt doesnât give ideal contraception, so if you are going to be having frequent intercourse-and particularly if you are a young fertile woman-I would suggest speaking with your health care provider to get a more effective contraceptive,â Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale Medical School, tells Health.
There are non-hormonal birth control options that are more effective, Dr. Minkin says, like the Paragard IUD, which uses copper instead of hormones. âIt gives them 99% effective contraception, has no hormones, and lasts for at least 10 years,â she says.
The side effects can also make Phexxi a less-than-ideal choice for some women. âWomen prone to urinary tract infections or recurrent yeast infections should definitely check in with their doctor,â Dr. Wider says.
Overall though, Phexxi adds one more birth control option to the table for women, which is never a bad thing. âItâs a great addition for women who are seeking non-hormonal methods,â Dr. Wider says. And when more options are available, more women may use them to prevent pregnancy. As Dr. Levitt says: âAnything is better than nothing.â
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What Is The Cheapest Birth Control Pill Brand
Birth control pill prices can vary based on a variety of factors. The Affordable Care Act requires all insurance and Medicaid plans to cover the full cost of birth control methods, such as the pill. However, some plans can opt out of this coverage due to religious reasons.
A person who does not have insurance may be able to acquire free or reduced-cost pills from local clinics.
There Is No Best Birth Control
Verma says that healthcare providers have changed the way they talk to their patients about choosing birth control. âWhen the long-acting reversible contraceptive methods came out, there was a lot of excitement about them and a lot of pushing of these methods,â she said.
But these days, Verma and her colleagues have largely shifted their approach toward talking to women about all their birth control options , and then helping them decide which one best fits their lifestyle.
What works for some might not work for others, Verma said. âNo one can tell you whatâs doable for you.â
This resource was created with support from Evofem Biosciences.
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Benefits Of Nonhormonal Birth Control
Whether youre on the pill, have a patch, or use a ring, hormonal birth control can be a total drag. It can cause annoying-AF side effects like bleeding between periods, boob pain, headaches, mood changes, and nausea.
Theres also a small chance that it could increase your risk of heart attacks, blood clots, or strokes.
You may want to opt for a nonhormonal method if you:
- have trouble remembering to take a pill every day
- dont want to change your bodys natural cycle
- experience bad side effects from hormonal birth control
- have certain health conditions like severe hypertension, heart disease, vascular disease, certain liver diseases, or migraine with aura
- Effectiveness: 99%
A copper IUD is a T-shaped piece of plastic thats wrapped in copper. A doctor inserts the device into your uterus through your cervix. Its more than 99 percent effective and gets to work right away. The copper is toxic to sperm, so it helps prevent fertilization. It can also prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall.
A copper IUD is a great choice if you want long-term protection it can last up to 10 years! It can also be used as emergency contraception for up to 5 days after you have sex without a condom or other barrier.
One downside is that insertion can be uncomfortable. Discomfort can range from a slight sting to WHY IS THERE A WASP IN MY VAGINA? But the entire procedure usually takes just 5 to 15 minutes.
- Effectiveness: 8598%
- Effectiveness: 7286%
- Effectiveness: 7688%