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How do certain birth control methods stack up against the others?

July 31, 2012|By Leonor Vivanco, RedEye

Probability in becoming pregnant based on the first year of using the specified contraception method

Method: Female condom

-failure rate for perfect use: 5 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 21 percent

.

Method: Birth control pill

- failure rate for perfect use: 0.3 percent

- failure rate for typical use: 9 percent

.

Method: Tubal sterilization

-failure rate for perfect use: 0.5 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 0.5 percent

.

Method: Male condom

-failure rate for perfect use: 2 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 18 percent

.

Method: Vasectomy

-failure rate for perfect use: 0.1 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 0.15 percent

.

Method: IUD (ParaGard/Mirena)

-failure rate for perfect use: 0.6 percent/ 0.2 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 0.8 percent/ 0.2 percent

Method: Withdrawal

-failure rate for perfect use: 4 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 22 percent

.

Method: three-month injectable

-failure rate for perfect use: 0.2 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 6 percent

.

Method: Implant

-failure rate for perfect use: 0.05 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 0.05 percent

.

Method: Patch

-failure rate for perfect use: 0.3 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 9 percent

.

Method: Diaphragm

-failure rate for perfect use: 6 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 12 percent

.

Method: Sponge

-failure rate for perfect use: 9 percent if never had a child and 20 percent if had a child

-failure rate for typical use: 12 percent if never had a child and 24 percent if had a child

.

Method: Spermicides

-failure rate for perfect use: 18 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 28 percent

.

Method: Vaginal ring (NuvaRing)

-failure rate for perfect use: 0.3 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 9 percent

.

Method: Abstinence

-failure rate for perfect use: 0 percent

-failure rate for typical use: 0 percent

Source: Guttmacher Institute

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