So, you’re looking for a new contraceptive. With so many methods available it can be hard navigating the different options and determining what will keep you safe while fitting into your life.

If babies aren’t an option for you right now, it’s important to know the difference between perfect use and typical use – the two different efficacy statistics for each birth control method. (This may also explain why sometimes you’ll hear that the pill is 99% effective, but also 91% effective...)

contraception after abortion

Perfect use is the efficacy based on medical studies, which happens in a controlled environment and barely leaves space for human error.

Typical use is the efficacy based on real life, and takes everyday hurdles into consideration, like illness, sleeping in or travel. Unless you’re a robot or have an incredibly regimented routine, typical use is the most realistic statistic to consider.

Overall, the more permanent the method, the more effective it is. Sterilization is the most effective method of birth control (99%+) – but it’s also irreversible.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives are more long-term and administered by a healthcare professional so there’s minimal room for human error. These include the IUS (99%), IUD (99%), contraceptive implant (99%) and injection (94%). These methods are completely reversible, whenever you feel like it they can be taken out and you can become pregnant again.

Methods that require daily, weekly or last minute attention have a greater variation between their perfect and typical use statistics. They tend to have a lower typical use value because they require so much more effort from the user.

When choosing a contraceptive, it’s worth considering how disciplined you are, as it will effect the efficacy of your birth control.

A good place to start comparing contraceptives is this comparison table (link: https://www.mycontraception.com/compare-methods - anchor to Effective- ness tab) to see how the typical use efficacy rates compare.

This contraception quiz (link: https://www.mycontraception.com/whats-mymethod) with also give you and your local healthcare provider a springboard for discussion about what suits you.

Thanks for making us part of your journey.

All the best,