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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 were desired. It can also be 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 to consider, however, you should check a trusted family planning centers and speak with your health care provider and choose the best one for you. Although contraceptives prevents 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): It 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 getting pregnant. Its normal failure rate is between 0.1-4 percent.

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


It is a hormonal birth control; it is a single thin rod placed under the woman’s upper arm. Implant contains “progestin” that is released into the body over a period of 3 years. Its usual failure rate is 0.1 percent.

Injection or shot

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

Oral contraception

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

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


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 then 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 to so for you to 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 chances of being pregnant is 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 STDs 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 work by killing the sperm and it is available in 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 regular 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 are using the fertility awareness method and have unprotected sex during your fertile period, you can take the emergency contraceptive pills such as Postinor after sex. Emergency contraceptives pills can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex, however, the sooner you take the pills, the better they will work.

Source: USCDC website.

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