Which Contraceptive is the Most Effective?

When it comes to contraception, there are many different factors that you need to take into consideration to decide which is the most beneficial for you. These factors include; careers, relationships, finance and your mental and physical health.

With the many options available, it can be difficult for you to choose on the best contraceptive method to suit you. If you prefer having a more organised method, there are daily pills that you can take or if you are forgetful, you have the option to get an injection every few months.

Here are a few of the main forms of contraception.

Condoms

Effectiveness: 85-95%

Regular condoms are essentially 95% effective, although due to poor usage, the percentage drops to 85%. With many people often putting a condom on too late or putting it on wrong, it loses the effectiveness and so you could risk impregnation.

Condoms are made from thin latex, polyisoprene or polyurethane and are designed to stop a mans semen from entering their sexual partner.

Injection

Effectiveness: 99%+

The injection is one of the most effective forms of contraception with one injection providing you with protection from 8 to 13 weeks.

There are different types of injections that a female can take to prevent ovulation and it is also not affected by any other medications. You must book an appointment to receive it from a nurse or doctor and so when you forget to book an appointment.

Combined pill

Effectiveness: 91-99%

When taken correctly, the pill is over 99% effective. It is the most commonly used pill and secretes artificial female hormones estrogen and progesterone, which women produce naturally in their ovaries. The combined pill thickens the mucus in the neck of the womb and so it is harder for sperm to penetrate the womb and reach an egg. It also thins the lining of the womb, so there is less chance of a fertilized egg implanting into the womb and being able to grow.

Progesterone Pill

Effectiveness: 91-99%

Both the combined pill and the progesterone pill use different hormones and so it is important that you use the right pill to suit your body. There are medical reasons as to why you would have one pill over the other and so you should always consult with your gp and check to see which pill will be more suited to you.

The pill can also affect your mood and there is increasing evidence linking the pill to depression and so it is important for you to take this into consideration.

IUD (Coil)

Effectiveness: 99%+

These are one of the most reliable forms of contraception as you can’t forget to take it as it is planted within your body. The IUS is a hormonal implant in the uterus that uses hormones to prevent ovulation and thicken cervical mucus, as the pills do. An IUD on the other hand is a non hormonal option which works by irritating the lining of the womb which consequently means that the embryo cannot implant.

Fitting one of these within five days of having unprotected sex can also be a form of emergency contraception, as they will stop any embryo implanting to become a pregnancy.

Vaginal Ring

Effectiveness: 91-99%

This type of contraception is rarely heard of although being one of the most effective. A ring is inserted into the vagina and releases small amounts of hormones that prevent ovulation and thicken the mucus of the cervix. It is changed once a month and it works perfectly even when you are ill or on medication.

It can be difficult to insert and remove and can also cause hormonal effects such as increased vaginal discharge, should you forget to replace it at the right time.

Diaphragm

Effectiveness: 92-96%

This method is typically used with spermicide and involves a cup being inserted into the vagina, so that it covers the cervix. Both these products together help to stop sperm reaching your egg.

The Patch

Effectiveness: 91-99%

This method works similarly to the to the implant and releases hormones into your system through your skin. Its effectiveness can be reduced when it falls off or if you forget to get it replaced regularly.

The Implant

Effectiveness: 99%+

An implant steadily releases hormones into your blood stream which in turn, prevents the release of an egg each month. There are two mains ways that an implant prevents pregnancy. The first being that progestin thickens the mucus on your cervix which stops sperm from swimming through to your egg. The second being that progestin can also stop eggs from leaving your ovaries, therefore meaning that there is no egg to fertilise.

For more information on contraception, and to find the best method to suit your health and lifestyle, make sure that you go to your local gp for professional advice.