METHODS OF CONTRACEPTION: EFFECTIVENESS

How effective a method is at preventing pregnancy is another important consideration. No method is 100 per cent effective. People sometimes become pregnant, even after sterilization, though this is rare.

However, there are some methods-the contraceptive sponge, the rhythm method, spermicidal pessaries and spermicidal creams and jellies when used alone (without a cap or diaphragm) — that aren’t very effective even if a person always uses them exactly according to instructions. For this reason, these methods should not be used by people unless they really wouldn’t mind if they became pregnant. These methods are not recommended for people who absolutely don’t want to become pregnant.

With the exception of the methods we just mentioned, the other methods listed in the contraception chart are quite effective, provided they are used properly and consistently. How effective these methods are depends on two things: on the method itself and on the user of the method. Most of the time, unplanned pregnancies are a result of the fact that people have failed to use their methods properly or at all. Even when people use their methods absolutely correctly, unplanned pregnancies can still occur because sometimes the method itself simply fails to do its job. For instance: a woman might ovulate despite the fact that she took her pills on schedule; a diaphragm might become dislodged during intercourse; a condom might break or leak, allowing sperm to get into the vagina; and so on.

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