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Is Birth Control Really 99.9% Effective?

Birth control supplies

It depends on the type of birth control as there are many different methods to choose from. Check out the chart below for some of the most common birth control methods and their effectiveness rates.

Method Effectiveness*
Abstience 100%
Nexplanon 99.9%
IUD 99%
Depo-Provera 94-99%
Nuva Ring 91-99%
The Pill 91-99%
Ortho Evra 91-99%
Male/External Condom 82-98%
Female/Internal Condom 79-95%


*Range of effectiveness represents typical-perfect use.

Think of the effectiveness rates as a grade in school – something you may get on a project, paper, or in a class. Most of us would want to get an A (90% or above); we may not be as happy with a B or C. When looking at birth control methods, the higher the effectiveness rate, the less likely pregnancy will occur.

If your partner(s) are the opposite sex and you want to reduce the risk of pregnancy, birth control is an important option, especially those with an “A” rating. Remember, most birth control options do not provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using a barrier method (like a condom) will reduce the risk of unplanned pregnancy and STIs.

A wide range of birth control options are available at Campus Health. To make an appointment with a health care provider, call (520) 621-9202.

If you are looking for condoms, look no further than Free Condom Friday!  Stop Campus Health from 12-2pm during the semester and get free condoms – no strings attached. You can also purchase 100 condoms for only $15.99 in the Campus Health Pharmacy.

More information on birth control methods. 

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SexTalk is written by health educators in the Health Promotion Department at Campus Health.