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Birth Control Chart

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If you do not want to get pregnant, there are many birth control options to choose from. No one product is best for everyone. Some methods are more effective than others at preventing pregnancy. Check the pregnancy rates on this chart to get an idea of how effective the product is at preventing pregnancy. The pregnancy rates tell you the number of pregnancies expected per 100 women during the first year of typical use. Typical use shows how effective the different methods are during actual use (including sometimes using a method in a way that is not correct or not consistent). The only sure way to avoid pregnancy is not to have any sexual contact. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best method for you.

 FDA-Approved MethodsNumber of pregnancies expected (per 100 Women)*UseSome Risks or Side Effects*
This chart does not list all of the risks and side effects for each product.
Sterilization Surgery for WomenSterilization Surgery for WomenLess than 1Onetime procedure.
Permanent.
Pain
Bleeding
Infection or other complications after surgery
Sterilization Implant for WomenSterilization Implant for WomenLess than 1Onetime procedure.
Permanent.
Pain/ cramping
Pelvic or back discomfort
Vaginal bleeding
Sterilization Surgery for MenSterilization Surgery for MenLess than 1Onetime procedure.
Permanent.
Pain
Bleeding
Infection
IUD CopperIUD CopperLess than 1Inserted by a healthcare provider.
Lasts up to 10 years.
Cramps
Heavier, longer periods
Spotting between periods
IUD with ProgestinIUD with ProgestinLess than 1Inserted by a healthcare provider.
Lasts up to 3-5 years, depending on the type.
Irregular bleeding
No periods (amenorrhea)
Abdominal/pelvic pain
Implantable RodImplantable RodLess than 1Inserted by a healthcare provider.
Lasts up to 3 years.
Menstrual Changes
Mood swings or depressed mood
Weight gain
Headache
Acne
Shot / InjectionShot/Injection6Need a shot every 3 months.Loss of bone density
Irregular bleeding/ Bleeding between periods
Headaches
Weight gain
Nervousness
Dizziness
Abdominal discomfort
Oral Contraceptives “The Pill” (Combined Pill)Oral Contraceptives “The Pill” (Combined Pill)9Must swallow a pill every day.Spotting/ bleeding between periods
Nausea
Breast tenderness
Headache
Oral Contraceptives “The Pill” (Extended/ Continuous Use Combined Pill)Oral Contraceptives “The Pill” (Extended/ Continuous Use Combined Pill)9Must swallow a pill every day.Spotting/ bleeding between periods
Nausea
Breast tenderness
Headache
Oral Contraceptives “The Mini Pill” (Progestin Only)Oral Contraceptives “The Mini Pill” (Progestin Only)9Must swallow a pill at the same time every day.Spotting/ bleeding between periods
Nausea
Breast tenderness
Headache
PatchPatch9Put on a new patch each week for 3 weeks (21 total days).
Don’t put on a patch during the fourth week.
Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
Nausea
Stomach pain
Breast tenderness
Headache
Skin irritation
Vaginal Contraceptive RingVaginal Contraceptive Ring9Put the ring into the vagina yourself. Keep the ring in your vagina for 3 weeks and then take it out for one week.Vaginal discharge, discomfort in the vagina, and mild irritation.
Headache
Mood changes
Nausea
Breast tenderness
Diaphragm with SpermicideDiaphragm with Spermicide12Must use every time you have sex.Irritation
Allergic reactions
Urinary tract infection
Sponge with SpermicideSponge with Spermicide12-24Must use every time you have sex.Irritation
Cervical Cap with SpermicideCervical Cap with Spermicide17-23Must use every time you have sex.Irritation
Allergic reactions
Abnormal Pap test
Male CondomMale Condom18Must use every time you have sex.
Provides protection against some STDs.
Irritation
Allergic reactions
Female CondomFemale Condom21Must use every time you have sex.
Provides protection against some STDs.
Discomfort or pain during insertion or sex.
Burning sensation, rash or itching
Spermicide AloneSpermicide Alone28Must use every time you have sex.Irritation
Allergic reactions
Urinary tract infection

OTHER CONTRACEPTION

Emergency Contraceptives (EC): May be used if you did not use birth control or if your regular birth control fails (such as a condom breaks). It should not be used as a regular form of birth control. Emergency contraception prevents about 55 - 85% of predicted pregnancies.

 FDA-Approved Methods UseSome Risks or Side Effects*
This chart does not list all of the risks and side effects for each product.
LevonorgestrelLevonorgestrel 1.5 mg (1 pill)
Levonorgestrel 0.75 mg (2 pills)
7 out of every 8 women who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant after taking this EC.Swallow the pills as soon as possible within 3 days after having unprotected sex.Menstrual changes
Headache
Nausea
Dizziness
Vomiting
Breast pain
Tiredness
Lower stomach (abdominal) pain
Ulipristal AcetateUlipristal Acetate6 or 7 out of every 10 women who would have gotten pregnant will not become pregnant after taking this EC.Swallow the pills within 5 days after having unprotected sex.Headache
Nausea
Abdominal pain
Menstrual pain
Tiredness
Dizziness

*For more information on the chance of getting pregnant while using a method or on the risks of a specific product, please check the product label or Trussell, J. (2011)."Contraceptive failure in the United States." Contraception 83(5):397-404.

Page Last Updated: 10/05/2016
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