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Pregnancy prevention : 

Women who have male sexual partners should consider birth control if they’re not interested in becoming pregnant.

Some methods of pregnancy prevention work better for certain individuals. Talk to your doctor about birth control that’s right for you. A few of the most common birth control methods are discussed below:

Birth control method Effectiveness rate

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) Over 99 percent
The pill 99 percent with perfect use; around 91 percent with typical use
Male condom 98 percent with perfect use; around 82 percent with typical use
Female condom (or internal condom) 95 percent effective with perfect use; around 79 percent with typical use
Morning-after pill Up to 95 percent (taken within one day of sexual contact); 75 to 89 percent (taken within three days)
Natural family planning (NFP) 75 percent when used on its own
Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) work by mostly by stopping fertilization. They’re currently the most effective form of birth control. The downside is that they don’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The pill and other hormonal birth control methods

Birth control pills, patches and the vaginal ring work by controlling the hormone levels in a woman’s body. They’re available by prescription.

Actions that can reduce the effectiveness of these methods include forgetting to use them as prescribed. Effectiveness rates that mention “typical use” account for these types of human errors.

Other forms of hormonal birth control include the patch and the vaginal ring. They’re also available by prescription, and their effectiveness rates are similar to those of the pill.

Condoms and other barrier methods

Condoms, diaphragms, and sponges are convenient and inexpensive forms of birth control that can be bought without a prescription.

They’re most effective when used correctly every time you have sexual intercourse. If you’re relying on these barrier methods to avoid getting pregnant, also consider using an additional method of contraception such as spermicide or a birth control pill.

Other barrier methods include diaphragms and sponges. They can be bought without a prescription.


Emergency contraception

Several morning-after pills are available, both over the counter and by prescription. These pills aren’t intended as regular forms of birth control. Instead, they can act as a backup if you have unprotected sex or forget to use your regular form of birth control.

They must be used within 120 hours (five days) of sexual contact to be effective. Some pills are most effective when taken within 72 hours (three days).

MUST READ HOW TO PREVENT CANCER AND STAY HEALTHY 

Natural family planning (NFP)

Natural family planning (NFP), or fertility awareness, is the birth control method with the highest failure rate. With NFP, a woman tracks her menstrual cycle so that she can predict when she’ll ovulate. She’ll then avoid intercourse during her fertile window.

Accidental pregnancies can occur because there are many variables affecting a woman’s cycle from month to month.

MUST READ SYMPTOMS OF PREGNANCY 
The bottom line

Condoms are the only birth control method that both prevent pregnancy and protect against STDs. Discover the safest condoms on the market here.

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