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Effectiveness of Contraceptive methods

How good is my contraception at preventing pregnancy?

There are many very effective methods of contraception available to prevent unwanted pregnancy. However, some methods are much less effective if not used correctly, i.e. if the user forgets to take it or does not follow instructions properly every time. If used perfectly, only a tiny number of women will become pregnant using most methods available. But, when we look at typical use – so taking into account when mistakes happen – the effectiveness of some methods is much lower. The most effective methods are the ones where the user doesn’t have to remember to do anything or follow instructions every time they have sex.

The diagram below shows the methods that are most effective with typical use:


A doctor or nurse can help you decide which method would suit you best. Use Service Finder to find a service near you.

If you’d like to think through your options try the fpa “My contraception” tool here: http://www.fpa.org.uk/contraception-help/my-contraception-tool

Remember, the only form of contraception to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is male and female condoms. For the best protection against pregnancy and STIs, always use condoms and another method.

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