RELATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF BIRTH CONTROL METHODS*

The effectiveness of a birth control method is defined in two ways:

  • Use Effectiveness: How well a birth control method works in ”typical use”, taking into consideration human error and other non ideal factors.

  • Theoretical Effectiveness: How well a birth control method works when it is used correctly and when all other conditions are ideal “perfect use”.

To make an informed choice, both partners need to understand how to use the method correctly and consistently. Effectiveness figures are based on 100 couples using the method for a year and show the percentage of women who do not get pregnant while using the method for 1 year.

METHOD USE EFFECTIVENESS
(Actual Use)
THEORETICAL
EFFECTIVENESS
(Perfect Use)
EVRA PATCH 92% 99.7%
PILL - Combined
- Progestin
92%
92%
99.7%
99.7%
NUVARING 92% 99.7%

IUD

Copper T

Levonorgenestrel (Mirena)

 

99.2%

99.9%

 

99.4%

99.9%

DIAPHRAGM & SPERMICIDE 84% 94%
SPERMICIDE & MALE CONDOMS** no confirmed data 99%
FEMALE CONDOM ALONE 79% 95%
MALE CONDOM ALONE 85% 98%
SPERMICIDES*** 71% 82%
TUBAL LIGATION 99.5% 99.5%
VASECTOMY 99.85% 99.9%
CERVICAL CAP
Woman has had children
Woman has not had children

68%

84%

74%

91%

DEPO-PROVERA 97% 99.95%
SPONGE
Woman has had children
Woman has not had children

68%

84%

80%

91%

FERTILITY AWARENESS METHOD
75%
95-97%
WITHDRAWAL 73% 96%
NO METHOD (CHANCE) 15% 15%

*Adapted from Contraceptive Technology, 19th Revised Edition, Hatcher, et al (New York: 2007).
**Separate spermicide in addition to condoms.
***Foams, creams, gels, vaginal suppositories, and vaginal film.


FS400
Revised March 2009