SHAG week - Effectiveness of contraception

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Which contraceptive method is the most effective in preventing pregnancy?

How effective a method of contraception is depends on the type, but more importantly on whether you use it correctly. Some methods have “no user failure”, such as the implant, IUD and IUS, as its effectiveness does not depend on the user remembering to take or use them. It is important to note that no contraceptive is 100% reliable, and most of them can have side effects.

The effectiveness of the methods listed below depends on “perfect use”, when the contraceptive is always used correctly.

  • The implant, IUS and IUD are more than 99% effective, with fewer than 1 in 100 women to get pregnant in 1 year.
  • When using contraception injections regularly, they are more than 99% effective.
  • The contraceptive pill is more than 99% effective, with less than 1 in 100 women getting pregnant with perfect use.
  • With perfect use, condoms are 98% effective. Using oil based products (moisturiser, lotion, Vaseline) can damage the condom and reduce its effectiveness.
  • Emergency contraception will stop or delay the release of an egg, as long as it is taken within the 3-5 days. The sooner, the more effective it will be at preventing a pregnancy.

More information on how effective contraception is at preventing pregnancy can be found on the NHS website. There are a lot of options available, and some may suit you better than others. If a method is not working for yourself and your body, don’t hesitate to discuss other options with your GP. There is no shame in asking questions and making an informed decision!

SHAG week 

Missed our other article? Find it below.

Contraception choices


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