Contraceptives have been a relief for many couples and individuals since their invention. Aside from their ability to prevent pregnancy, they do not guarantee absolute protection from sexually transmitted diseases.
Contraceptives remain the widely used method of birth control. Are contraceptives 100% effective? This remains a pending question that will be answered in this article. Have a good read.
What Is Contraception?
The concept of contraception means the deliberate prevention of conception using several devices, drugs, chemicals, surgical processes, and sexual practices to achieve one aim.
Contraceptives are the clear tools and procedures used to achieve the aim of preventing pregnancy and to a small extent, STDs.
What Are The Methods of Contraception?
Having an idea of the various methods of contraception is key to explaining their effectiveness in the long run. Here are some widely used means of contraception;
- Long and reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods
- Contraceptive injection
- Patch and ring
- Contraceptive pills
- Sterilization (permanent contraception)
- Male and female condoms
- Diaphragms and caps
- Natural Family Planning
These methods listed above are separated into two concepts based on their effectiveness namely; perfect use and typical use.
Perfect Use and Typical Use
This concept explains how effective contraceptives are to a large extent. When a contraceptive is used correctly with more effect, it is termed as perfect use.
Typical use embodies the various methods of contraception that do not have a great effect due to the wrong usage during intercourse.
Generally, if contraceptives are not used correctly, they become less effective. For example, humans are likely to forget to take their pills or miss an appointment with a doctor, hence, such methods are less effective.
Having a permanent or reversible contraceptive inserted into the body will greatly reduce the chance of conception.
Are Contraceptives 100% Effective?
In answering this question, some widely used contraceptives will be discussed below.
1. Long-Active Reversible Contraceptive Method
This contains implanted devices that prevent conception, examples are;
- Contraceptive Implant: They work for three years and afterward become ineffective. It can also be taken out before the stipulated time. It is more than 99% effective with perfect use.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD): This device is also 99% effective and can stay in a woman for 5 to 10 years pending your choice. Newer types of IUDs are more effective.
- Intrauterine System (IUS): Fewer than 1 in 100 women in a year can conceive. It is 99% effective.
2. Contraceptive Injection
This entails the intake of a chemical that suppresses conception, and it’s taken every three months. If used properly can be more than 99% effective but otherwise less than 99%.
3. Ring and Patch
When using contraceptive patches and rings correctly, fewer than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant yearly. It is considered more than 99% effective and less than 92% for typical use.
4. Pills and Condoms
For contraceptive pills, combined or progesterone-only pills are somewhat effective but 9 in 100 women may get pregnant due to typical use. Hence, it can be less effective.
Condoms for both males and females do not have a guarantee in preventing pregnancy, hence, they are less than 97% effective both in typical and perfect use.
5. Natural Family Planning
This includes monitoring secretion from the cervix and body temperature among others stipulated by a doctor. Generally, natural family planning can be difficult, hence having less than 78% effectiveness in typical use and up to 98% if used well.
In summary, contraceptives only have more than 99% effectiveness if properly used. It is believed that methods that require surgical procedures or contraceptive devices are more effective but this does not hide the fact that they can fail with the wrong usage.
At best, consult your doctor to know the best contraceptive that suits your body.