Merck Manual

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How Effective Is Contraception?

How Effective Is Contraception?

Method

Percentage of Women Who Become Pregnant During the First Year of Perfect Use*

Percentage of Women Who Become Pregnant During the First Year of Typical Use*

Hormonal methods (with estrogen and/or a progestin)

0.3%

9%

0.3%

9%

0.3%

9%

0.2%

6%

0.05%

Same as perfect use

0.2–0.5%, depending on the type used

Same as perfect use

Barrier contraceptives

2% with male condoms

5% with female condoms

18% with male condoms

21% with female condoms

6%

12%

8% (higher among women who have had children)

Contraceptive gel

7%

14%

9% for women who have not had children

20% for women who have had children

12% for women who have not had children

24% for women who have had children

Spermicide alone

18%

28%

Other methods

0.6%

Same as perfect use

4% or higher, depending on the method

24%

Withdrawal method (coitus interruptus)

4%

22%

* About 85% of women become pregnant during 1 year of frequent intercourse if no contraception is used.