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Contraception can sometimes feel overwhelming, mostly because there’s so much to choose from, especially if you are a female.

Condoms (both male and female) are the only forms of contraception that ALSO prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted infection (HIV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis).

For Men, there are 3 main contraception options:

  1. Vasectomy –0.2% failure rate. Minimal risk associated with the procedure
  • Condoms – 13-18% failure rate. Protects against sexually transmitted infections
  • Abstinence

Women, on the other hand, have numerous options including:

  • Intravaginal Uterine Device (“IUD”)
    • Hormonal:  0.5% failure rare, good for 3-5 years
    • Non-Hormonal: < 1% failure rate, good for 10 years
  • Hormonal Implants (i.e., Implanon) – small hormonal rod placed in your arm
    • 0.1% failure rate
  • Vaginal Ring
    • 7-9% failure rate
  • Oral Contraception Pills
    • 7-9% failure rate
  • Injectable contraception
    • 4-6% failure rate
  • Hormonal Patch applied to the arm
    • 7% failure rate
  1. Tubal Ligation
    1. < 1% failure rate. More complications than vasectomy
  1. Cervical Diaphragm with spermicide
    1. 12-17% failure rate
  1. Female Condom – Protects against sexually transmitted infections
    1. 21% failure rate
  1. Fertility Awareness Method
    1. 2-24% failure rate
  2. Spermicide (without use of a condom)
    1. 21-28% failure rate

Keep in mind these failure rates are largely dependent on how appropriately the person is using the method. Someone using a condom infrequently is more likely to have their partner become pregnant, than someone using a condom every time in addition to using spermicide and lubricant that does not damage the integrity of the condom.

Have more questions? Concerns? Schedule your visit with the Northwest Integrative Medicine Team today to discuss which form of contraception is right for you!

References:

  1. Dehlendorf, C. Contraception: Counseling and selection. UpToDate. UpToDate; Updated Jan 26, 2022. Accessed February 24, 2022. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/contraception-counseling-and-selection
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Contraception. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/index.htm. Accessed February 24, 2022.
  3. US Food & Drug Administration. Birth Control Guide. https://www.fda.gov/media/150299/download. Accessed February 24, 2022.

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