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Effectiveness of Prescription Birth Control

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Updated March 14, 2008

Effectiveness of Prescription Birth Control

Birth Control Pills

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Prescription birth control include medically prescribed hormones, barriers, or devices. When comparing contraceptive effectiveness,

  • Typical use refers to failure rates for women who do not consistently or always correctly use their birth control. These rates usually apply to the average woman as it is sometimes difficult to always and reliably use birth control the correct way

  • Perfect use refers to failure rates for those whose use is consistent and always correct.

The Pill
  • Typical use: 92% effective
  • Perfect use: 99.7% effective
  • Of every 100 women who use The Pill, 8 will become pregnant (with typical use) within the first year and less than one will become pregnant with perfect use

For Different Types of Birth Control Pills:

NuvaRing
  • Typical use: 92% effective
  • Perfect use: 99.7% Effective
  • Of every 100 women who use the ring, 8 will become pregnant (with typical use) within the first year and less than 1 will become pregnant with perfect use
The Ortho Evra Patch
  • Typical use: 92% effective
  • Perfect use: 99.7% Effective
  • Of every 100 women who use the patch, 8 will become pregnant (with typical use) within the first year and less than 1 will become pregnant with perfect use
Depo-Provera Injections
  • Typical use: 97% effective
  • Perfect use: 99.7% effective
  • Of every 100 women who injections, 3 will become pregnant (with typical use) within the first year and less than 1 out of 100 will become pregnant with perfect use
Mirena IUD
  • Typical and Perfect use: 99.9% effective
  • Of every 100 women who use Mirena, less than 1 will become pregnant within the first year with typical use as well as with perfect use
ParaGard IUD
  • Typical use: 99.2% effective
  • Perfect use: 99.4% effective
  • Of every 100 women who use ParaGard, less than 1 will become pregnant within the first year with typical use as well as with perfect use
Implanon
  • Typical and Perfect use: 99.9% effective
  • Of every 100 women who use Implanon, less than 1 will become pregnant within the first year with typical use as well as with perfect use
Diaphragms
  • Typical use: 84% effective
  • Perfect use: 94% effective
  • Of every 100 women who use diaphragms, 16 will become pregnant (with typical use) within the first year and 6 will become pregnant with perfect use
Cervical Caps

For those who have not given birth:
  • Typical use: 84% effective
  • Perfect use: 91% effective
  • Of every 100 women who use cervical caps, for those who have not given birth, 16 will become pregnant (with typical use)within the first year and 9 will become pregnant with perfect use

For those who have given birth:
  • Typical use: 68% effective
  • Perfect use: 74% effective
  • Of every 100 women who use cervical caps, for those who have given birth, 32 will become pregnant(with typical use) within the first year and 26 will become pregnant with perfect use
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  5. Effectiveness of Prescription Birth Control - Hormonal Contraceptives - Combination Birth Control Pills

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