top of page
  • Writer's pictureGrace Health

How Effective Is Birth Control?

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

More often than not, we have women in our comment section asking how effective birth control methods are; in essence how effective are contraceptive methods and by extension which one is the best for them. In this article, we will be looking deeper into some of the contraceptive methods and the level of protection they provide in keeping you from getting pregnant when used or consumed properly.

The effectiveness of your contraception relies on the method you choose and how correctly you use it. Certain methods are more efficient than others. For your contraception to be as successful as possible, you must follow the directions and use the method properly. With certain treatments, such as the implant, it is unnecessary to remember to take or apply it because it is inserted once. These are known as "no user failure" techniques.

No contraception is 100 per cent effective, and some do have side effects.

Perfect Use or Typical Use

In this section, we will focus on some of the most known birth control methods and look at their effectiveness if used "perfectly” -this is always the right way to use the method.

Some methods work less well when they are used "typically” -this is when the method isn't always done right. For example, you might forget to take a pill or get the shot later than you should.

Some methods don't have typical use rates because they have no user failure.


Use it perfectly: it works more than 99% of the time. When contraceptive injections are used regularly, less than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant in a year. Typical use: it works about 94% of the time. In a year, about 6 out of every 100 women will get pregnant. Depending on the type, the shot lasts for about 8 to 13 weeks.


Combined oral contraceptive Use it perfectly: Effectiveness of greater than 99%. Using the combination pill correctly, fewer than 1 in 100 women will become pregnant within a year. Typical Use: Effectiveness is around 91% of typical usage. In one year, approximately 9 out of 100 women using the combination pill will become pregnant.

MALE and FEMALE CONDOM Male condoms

Perfect Use: It works 98% of the time. This means that in a year, two out of every hundred women whose partners use a condom will get pregnant. Typical Use: it works about 82% of the time. This means that every year, about 18 out of every 100 women will get pregnant due to incorrect use of a condom.

Female condom

Perfect Use: It works 95% of the time. In a year, about 5 out of every 100 women who use a female condom will become pregnant.

Typical Use: it works about 79% of the time. In a year, about 21 out of every 100 women will get pregnant as a result of incorrect use of condoms.


You do not have to remember to take or use these methods. They have no user failure, so they are not less effective with typical use.

Perfect Use: A contraceptive implant works more than 99% of the time. They work for three years, but they can be taken out sooner if needed. Less than 1 in 100 women using the implant will get pregnant in a year.

IUDs are 99% effective depending on the type. An IUD can be in place for 5 or 10 years, with the option to take it out at any time. Depending on the type of IUD, less than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant in a year.


STERILIZATION (Permanent Contraception)

Female sterilization is more than 99% effective. Around 1 in 200 women who have been sterilised will get pregnant at some point in their lives. Male sterilisation, or vasectomy: About 1 in 2,000 men can become fertile again in their lifetime after having a vasectomy.

To identify the best birth control method for you; be it either a short-term or long-term method whether reversible or irreversible, you must visit the hospital for guidance and then make a choice that best suits your body. As always, Grace is here to give you all the information you need to stay informed. We remain committed to affording you the best digital health services!

Stay informed, stay in control

Do you have an idea of what contraceptive to consult your doctor about?

1,768 views1 comment

Related Posts

See All
Valentine's Day
bottom of page