The best way to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy among women who are sexually active is to use effective birth control correctly and consistently. Among reversible methods of birth control, intrauterine contraception and the contraceptive implant remain highly effective for years once correctly in place. The effectiveness of the contraceptive shot, pills, patch and ring, and barrier and fertility awareness-based methods, depends on correct and consistent use.
When used correctly, modern contraceptives are very effective at preventing pregnancy, but there is no "best" method of birth control. Each method has its pros and cons.
There are 61 million U.S. women in their childbearing years (aged 15–44), and about 43 million of them (70%) are at risk of unintended pregnancy. In other words, they are sexually active and do not want to become pregnant but could become pregnant if they and their partners fail to use a contraceptive method correctly and consistently. If you fall into that group, there are many options from which to choose. How does one decide?
Making choices about birth control, or contraception, isn't easy. There are many things to think about.
Before choosing a birth control method, think about:
Your overall health
How often you have sex
The number of sex partners you have
If you want to have children someday
How well each method works to prevent pregnancy
Possible side effects
Your comfort level with using the method
Keep in mind, even the most effective birth control methods can fail, but your chances of getting pregnant are lowest if the method you choose always is used correctly and every time you have sex.
If you are interested in starting, changing, or exploring your options for birth control, schedule an appointment with any of our doctors. We can help you find the right solution that fits your unique needs.