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Thinking of the best Birth Control Methods? Check these Popular Methods

Unintended pregnancy is a pregnancy that is either unwanted when no children or more children are desired. It can also be a pregnancy that occurs earlier than planned or desired. According to a report by Guttmacher Institute, in 2011, nearly half (45%) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States were unintended. 27 % were later wanted, and 18% of pregnancies were unwanted.

Regardless of your marital status, birth control is an essential factor; however, you should check a trusted family planning center, speak with your healthcare provider, and choose the best one for you. Although contraceptives prevent pregnancy, hormonal contraceptives do not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases or infections.

 Popular Contraceptives and their Failure Rates

Intrauterine Devices

Levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG IUD) is a small T-shaped device like the popular Copper T IUD. It is placed correctly inside the uterus by your health provider. It works by releasing a small amount of progestin daily to prevent you from getting pregnant. Its normal failure rate is between 0.1-4 percent.

A copper T intrauterine device (IUD) is a small device in the form of a T. It can last in the uterus for close to 10 years, and its usual failure rate is 0.8%


It is a hormonal birth control, a single thin rod placed under the woman’s upper arm. The implant contains “progestin” released into the body over 3 years. Its usual failure rate is 0.1 percent.

Injection or shot

It’s also a hormonal device; the progestin hormone injection is given every three months in the buttocks or arm. Its usual failure rate is 4 percent.

Oral contraception

Combined oral contraceptives, also known as pills, contain estrogen and progestin hormones. A doctor usually prescribes it, and it’s taken every day. However, if you are older than 35 and smoke, have a history of blood clots, or have breast cancer, your healthcare provider may recommend you don’t take the pill. Its usual failure rate is 7 percent.

Progestin-only contraceptive contains a single hormone- progestin-sometimes called mini-pill. It’s taken daily and may be a good alternative for women that can’t take estrogen. Its usual failure rate is 7 percent.


The hormonal vaginal ring releases both progestin and estrogen hormones. The ring is inserted inside the vagina and worn for 3 weeks; it is taken out the week a woman has her period, and a new one is inserted again. Its usual failure rate is 7 percent.


The skin patch is worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, or upper body. It releases progestin and estrogen into the bloodstream. A new patch is placed once a week for three weeks; in the fourth week, you do not need to wear a patch. This is so that you have your period. Its usual failure rate is 7 percent.

Barrier methods

Common barrier methods include;

  1. Fertility awareness: if you have a regular menstrual cycle, you can track your infertile, fertile, and ovulation days (when pregnancy chances are higher). You avoid sex or use condoms during fertile days and ovulation to avoid getting pregnant. Its usual failure rate is within 2-23 percent. You can use our ovulation calculator to track your fertile days.
  2. Male condom: It prevents pregnancy and STDs; its usual failure rate is 13 percent.
  3. Female condom: It prevents STD sperm from entering the woman’s body; it can be inserted up to 8 hours before having sex. Its failure rate is 21 percent.
  4. Spermicides: They kill the sperm, and it is available in the form of gel, film, foam, cream, and tablet. They are inserted in the vagina not more than one hour before the act, and you leave them there for at least 6-8 hours after sex. Its usual failure rate is 21 percent.
  5. Emergency contraception: They are not a common birth control method, but they can be used when no birth control was used during sex or if a condom broke during the act. If you use the fertility awareness method and have unprotected sex during your fertile period, you can take emergency contraceptive pills such as Postinor after sex. Emergency contraceptive pills can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex; however, the sooner you take them, the better they will work.

Source: USCDC website.

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