Contraception Types


Birth control methods are good at preventing pregnancy when used consistently and correctly, so make sure your method of choice is being used correctly.  Check out the difference between Perfect Use and Typical Use:

Abstinence   

  • Perfect use: 100%   
  • Typical Use: 100%  
  • Pregnancies: 0
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: Oral and anal sex have risks.
  • Concerns: Only works if both partners are in agreement      
  • Cost: Free

Depo-Provera          

  • Perfect use: 99%
  • Typical Use: 97%
  • Pregnancies: 3
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None
  • Concerns: Some women report weight gain and irregular periods
  • Cost: $35 per shot prescription and office visits every 3 months

IUD    

  • Perfect use: 99%
  • Typical Use: 99%
  • Pregnancies: 1
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None
  • Concerns: Doctors won’t provide if you have not already had a child, as the IUD might pierce the uterus wall
  • Cost: Contact medical professional

Birth Control Pills

  • Perfect use: 99%
  • Typical Use: 92%
  • Pregnancies: 8
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None
  • Concerns: If you miss 2+ pills during a cycle, you should use a back-up method
  • Cost: $15-$40 through a prescription    

Intravaginal Ring (Nuva Ring)

  • Perfect use: 99%
  • Typical Use: 92%
  • Pregnancies: 8
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None    
  • Concerns: If you miss 3+ hours during a cycle, you should use a back-up method
  • Cost: $25-35 prescription and office visits

Emergency Contraception Pills

  • Perfect use: 75-89%
  • Typical Use: 75-89%
  • Pregnancies: 11-25
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None
  • Concerns: Can cause headaches, breast tenderness, upset stomach, or vomiting
  • Cost: $10-70

Male Condom

  • Perfect use: 98%
  • Typical Use: 85%
  • Pregnancies: 15
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: Good against fluid STIs, fair against others
  • Concerns: Can break, fall off (if no put on correctly), or leak during withdrawal
  • Cost: 35c to $2 each at drugstores

Coitus Interruptus (Withdrawal)

  • Perfect use: 96%
  • Typical Use: 71%
  • Pregnancies: 29
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None
  • Concerns: Sperm can also live in pre-ejaculate, so pregnancy can still occur
  • Cost: Free

Diaphragm

  • Perfect use: 94%
  • Typical Use: 84%
  • Pregnancies: 16
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None
  • Concerns: Can increase the risk of UTIs and TSS; must remain for 6 hours after intercourse and then washed away
  • Cost: $30-40 prescription and cost of spermicide, fitting, and diaphragm

Natural Family Planning (Rhythm)

  • Perfect use: 91%
  • Typical Use: 75%
  • Pregnancies: 25
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None
  • Concerns: Sperm can live inside the body for several days, event past the “safe” days chosen for intercourse. Also, predicting when a woman is ovulating is difficult and takes training
  • Cost: Health care clinics offer training classes

Spermicide   

  • Perfect use: 82%
  • Typical Use: 71%
  • Pregnancies: 29
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None
  • Concerns: Some can irritate vaginal walls, which increases STD risk and must follow directions carefully and use more each time you have intercourse
  • Cost: $9-12 and $4-8 for refills

No Method (Chance or "Luck")

  • Perfect use: 15%
  • Typical Use: 15%
  • Pregnancies: 85
  • Risk Reduction for STIs: None
  • Concerns: Leaves it completely up to chance, risk of pregnancies and STIs
  • Cost: Free, if you don’t count the hospital fees and paying for a child for 18 years

 

*Number of pregnancies in 100 typical users over one year's use

Information adapted from: http://www.itsyoursexlife.com/preventing-pregnancy/what-works-what-doesnt/