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How effective are the different methods of contraception?

No method of contraception is 100% effective. Sometimes contraceptive methods don’t work due to faulty manufacturing, individual biological differences or incorrect use. With this in mind, contraceptives often have two measures of effectiveness: perfect use and typical use. Perfect use, refers to the effectiveness of the contraceptive if it is always used correctly. Typical use indicates the effectiveness of the contraceptive, taking into account human error i.e. forgetting a pill, taking a pill at the wrong time, not using a condom correctly etc.

Here are some of the effectiveness statistics for different contraceptives:


  Contraceptive Type


  Contraceptive Implant

  Perfect Use: over 99%

  Intrauterine System (IUS)

  Perfect Use: over 99%

  Intrauterine Device (IUD)

  Perfect Use: over 99%
  Contraceptive Injection   Perfect Use: over 99%
  Typical Use: approx. 94%
  Contraceptive Patch   Perfect Use: over 99%
  Typical Use: approx. 91%
  Vaginal Ring   Perfect Use: over 99%
  Typical Use: approx. 91%
  Combined contraceptive pill   Perfect Use: over 99%
  Typical Use: approx. 91%
  Progestogen-only pill   Perfect Use: over 99%
  Typical Use: approx. 91%
  Male Condoms   Perfect Use: 98%
  Typical Use: approx. 82%
  Female Condoms   Perfect Use: 95%
  Typical Use: approx. 79%
  Withdrawal (pulling-out)   Perfect Use: 96%
  Typical Use: 78%
  Diaphragms & Caps   Perfect Use: 92-96%
  Typical Use: approx. 71-81%
  Natural Family Planning*   Perfect Use: up to 99%
  Typical Use: approx. 76%

  Female Sterilisation

  1 in 200 women become pregnant

  Male Sterilisation

  1 in 2000 men become fertile again


* Natural familly planning is where the female fertility is monitored over the menstrual cycle. the couple try to only have sex, when fertility is not predicted.


NHS > How effective is contraception at preventing pregnancy?

Planned Parenthood > What is the effectiveness of the pulling out method?

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