Center for Young Women's Health

Success & Failure Rates of Contraceptives

 

This chart shows the percentages of women who accidentally get pregnant while using contraception over the course of one year.

 

Key:
1 Woman Becomes Pregnant: icon representing 1 pregnant woman
100 Women Become Pregnant: icon representing 100 pregnant women
Typical Use: When contraception is not used every time, or it is not used according to instructions every time.
Perfect Use: When contraception is used every time, and it is used according to instructions every time.

 
Male Condoms
Out of 100 Women Using Male Condoms:
Typical Use: 14 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 14 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 3 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 3 pregnant women
 
Withdrawal
Out of 100 Women Using Withdrawal:
Typical Use: 19 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 19 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 4 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 4 pregnant women
 
Birth Control Pills - Combination
Out of 100 Women Using Combination Birth Control Pills
Typical Use: 5 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 5 pregnant women
Perfect Use:1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
 
Birth Control Pills - Progestin-Only
Out of 100 Women Using Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills
Typical Use: 5 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 5 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 3 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 3 pregnant women
 
Hormonal Injections - Depo Provera
Out of 100 Women Using Hormonal Injections:
Typical Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
Perfect Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
 
Estrogen/Progestin Hormonal Injections
(not currently available in the US)
Out of 100 Women Using Estrogen/Progestin Injections:
Typical Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
Perfect Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
 
Hormonal Implants
Out of 100 Women Using Hormonal Implants
Typical Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
Perfect Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
 
Hormone Patch - Ortho-Evra
Out of 100 Women Using the Hormone Patch:
Typical Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
Perfect Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
 
Vaginal Hormonal Ring - NuvaRing
Out of 100 Women Using the Vaginal Hormonal Ring:
Typical Use: An estimate, not yet known icon representing 5 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
 
Spermicides
Out of 100 Women Using Spermicides:
Typical Use: 26 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 26 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 15 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 6 pregnant women
 
Contraceptive Sponges
Out of 100 Women Using Contraceptive Sponges
Typical Use: 13 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 13 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 9 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 9 pregnant women
 
Diaphragm
Out of 100 Women Using a Diaphragm
Typical Use: 20 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 20 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 6 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 6 pregnant women
 
Cervical Cap
Out of 100 Women Using a Cervical Cap
Typical Use: 18 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 18 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 4 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 4 pregnant women
 
Female Condoms
Out of 100 Women Using Female Condoms
Typical Use: 21 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 21 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 5 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 5 pregnant women
 
Copper IUD (Intrauterine Device)
Out of 100 Women Using a Copper IUD:
Typical Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
Perfect Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
 
IUD (Intrauterine Device)
Out of 100 Women Using an IUD:
Typical Use: 3 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 3 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 3 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 3 pregnant women
 
Lactational Amenorrhea Method
Out of 100 Women Using the LAM Method:
Typical Use: 2 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 2 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 2 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 2 pregnant women
 
Natural Family Planning
Out of 100 Women Using Natural Family Planning
Typical Use: 24 Women Become Pregnant icon representin 24 pregnant women
Perfect Use: 2 to 9 (average 6) Women Become Pregnant icon representing 6 pregnant women
 
Female Sterilization
Out of 100 Women Using Female Sterilization
Typical Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
Perfect Use: 1 or Less Women Become Pregnant icon representing 1 pregnant woman
 
No Contraceptive Method
Out of 100 Women Using No Contraceptive Method
Typical Use: 85 Women Become Pregnant icon representing 85 pregnant women

 

Written and reviewed by the CYWH Staff at Boston Children's Hospital

 

Updated: 11/3/2009

 

Related Guides:

Making Healthy Sexual Decisions

As a young adult, it's normal to think about sex, have sexual feelings, and have a desire to learn more about your own body. Deciding to have a sexual relationship is an important decision since it involves both your body and your emotions. You need to make sure that it is the right decision for you...

 

Pregnancy

Did you know that about 800,000 teen girls become pregnant in the United States each year, and more than 80% of these pregnancies are unplanned? Dealing with a pregnancy is one of the most important decisions a teen may need to make...

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