Listed Most Effective to Least Effective.
- Abstinence from all sex protects you and your partner from pregnancy and STDs/HIV.
- People can choose abstinence at any time and at any age.
- Perfect Use: Abstinence is 100% effective.
Hormone methods give constant protection from pregnancy.
Visit a Family Planning Clinic for the following methods.
Implant (Implanon™ and Nexplanon™)
The implant is a thin, 2-inch plastic rod that uses hormones to prevent pregnancy for 3 years.
- A clinic doctor or nurse inserts it under the skin on the inside of your arm.
- Perfect Use: The implant is 99% effective.
- Typical Use: 1 or less women will become pregnant.
These small devices are inserted into your uterus.
- They work for 3-10 years.
- Perfect Use: The IUD is 99% effective.
- Typical Use: 1 or less women become pregnant.
The "Shot" (Depo Provera®)
- You get a birth control shot once every 3 months from a doctor or nurse.
- Perfect Use: The shot is an easy method and is 99% effective if you get your repeat shots ON TIME every 3 months.
- Typical Use: 94% effective. This means that 6 women out of 100 will get pregnant.
Birth Control Pills
You take one pill at the same time every day. Missing a pill increases your chance of pregnancy.
- Pills are easy to take and are effective birth control that doesn't interrupt sex.
- Perfect Use: Birth Control Pills are 99% effective when taken daily; the mini pill (progestin-only) needs to be taken within the SAME HOUR daily.
- Typical Use: 92% effective.This means that 8 women out of 100 get pregnant.
Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing®)
This small, soft plastic ring has hormones to prevent pregnancy.
- You place a new ring in your vagina every month.
- Perfect Use: The ring is easy to use and is 99% effective when kept in place and changed ON TIME.
- Typical Use: 91% effective. This means that 9 women out of 100 will get pregnant.
Birth Control Patch (Ortho Evra®)
The patch is a thin, stick-on square that is placed on your body to prevent the release of an egg.
- A new patch is used once a week for three weeks and the fourth week is patch-free.
- Perfect Use: The patch is 99% effective when kept in place and changed ON TIME.
- Typical Use: 91% effective. This means that 9 women out of 100 will get pregnant
This is a rubber cap that needs to be fitted to your size by a clinic doctor or nurse.
- It must be inserted into your vagina EACH time you have sex.
- Perfect Use: The diaphragm is 94% effective when used correctly every time you have sex.
- Typical Use: If women use the diaphragm, but not perfectly, it is 88% effective. This means that 12 women out of 100 will become pregnant.
The Female Condom (Female Condom®)
The female condom is a soft, loose-fitting thin plastic pouch that goes inside a woman's vagina.
- You plan ahead and put it in before sex and use a new condom each time you have sex.
- Condoms protect you from both pregnancy and STDs, including HIV.
- Female condoms are plastic so people who are allergic to latex can use them.
- You can get them at drug stores and most health clinics.
- Perfect Use: 95% effective when used correctly every time you have sex.
- Typical Use: If women use the female condom, but not perfectly, it is 79% effective. This means that 21 out of 100 women will become pregnant.
Fertility Awareness Method
You learn how to tell when you can get pregnant.
- Avoid sex or use other birth control during this time.
- Perfect Use: Overall effectiveness relies on the quality of the recorded data.
- Typical Use: Perfect use hardly ever happens and so this method is typically only 77% effective. This means that 23 out of 100 women will become pregnant.
Spermicides are chemicals that kill sperm. They come in foam, gel, film or suppositories.
- Spermicides used with a condom are very effective.
- You can get them at drug stores and some health clinics.
- Perfect Use: 82% effective when used correctly every time you have sex.
- Typical Use: If women use Spermicides, but not perfectly, it is only 72% effective. This means that 28 out of 100 women will become pregnant.
If a condom breaks or sex "just happened,"
you can still prevent pregnancy.
Emergency Contraception (Plan B ®)
Emergency birth control pills or EC may be taken AFTER unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy.
- EC reduces the risk of pregnancy when taken as soon as possible or within 5 days of sex.
- EC is NOT the same as the abortion pill and will NOT stop or harm the pregnancy or fetus if you are already pregnant.
- Keep EC on hand as a back-up in case a condom breaks or another birth control method fails.
- You can get EC from the drugstore without a prescription if you are 17 or older (with a prescription if you are under 17) or for low or no-cost at a family planning clinic.
- Emergency contraception lowers your risk of pregnancy by 75-88%, but could be as high as 95% if taken within 24 hours.
Are you ready to think about permanent birth control?
If you don't want children or don't want any more children, getting your "tubes tied" (tubal ligation) or blocked are safe, effective procedures.
- Female sterilization is considered a permanent contraceptive method and is very effective.
These services are available only to clients 21 years old or older, and by referral only. Talk with your family planning provider if you are interested in this procedure.