How Effective is Your Birth Control?

Posted by The Baby News

Months ago in a reader poll, we asked moms about plans for their next pregnancy. Most said “not yet.”” Some said “Never!”" So we were interested to see this piece of baby news: Researchers have linked unintended pregnancy to specific methods of contraception.

The contraceptive CHOICE project, designed to encourage use of long-acting reversible contraceptive options, gave 7,486 women between the ages of 18 and 45 their contraceptive of choice in order to determine the effectiveness of various methods.  In the study, Dr. Brooke Winner of Washington University School of Medicine, along with her fellow researchers, compared the rates for long acting methods like IUDs and implants versus more common forms of contraception, such as oral contraceptive pills, transdermal patches, vaginal rings and the DMPA injection.

Out of all of these women, 334 became pregnant unintentionally.  About half of the pregnancies were the result of contraceptive failure, generally relating to incorrect or inconsistent use.  IUDs and implants had the lowest failure rate, but they’re not very popular.  Many women can’t afford the up-front costs, which can be more than $500.

In Winner’s opinion, “If more women used the highly effective, long acting reversible methods, we would expect a decrease in the number of unintended pregnancies.”


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