How effective is birth control

The absolute majority of mature women use hormonal contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. When planning a pregnancy, many women are wondering «How effective is birth control? ».

Information about safety and effectiveness of birth control medicines can be found in:

  • Highlights of Prescribing Information (the US FDA publishes)
  • Summary of Product Characteristics (the UK MHRA publish)
  • Product Information (the Australian TGA publishes)
  • Product Monograph (the Health Canada publishes)

If you want to know, how effective birth control method is but you do not understand medical terms when reading «Product Monograph», the key information about effectiveness of popular hormonal contraceptives you can find in this review.

  • How effective are birth control pills?

Effectiveness of oral contraceptives depends on their type. At pharmacies, you can find birth control pills containing one or several active ingredients.

One of the largest manufacturers of combined oral contraceptives – Pfizer claims that their effectiveness is equal 99%. This means that while observing the recommended dosing regimen of combined contraceptive, only 1 woman out of 100 may get pregnant.

If the intake of combination birth control pills is periodically skipped or they are not taken at the same time, the chances of becoming pregnant are increased. Reduced efficiency of birth control pills is not only because of missed doses, but also because of menstrual disorders or the use of combined oral contraceptives in conjunction with other medicines.

If the intake of regular dose of combined contraceptive was skipped, use additional non-hormonal methods of birth control to prevent pregnancy.

If you are looking for an effective combined oral contraceptive, choose birth control pills in which the dose of estrogen hormone is no less than 20 mcg.

  • How effective is birth control patch?

For several decades, birth control patches are successfully used to prevent pregnancy. Alternative name of such patches is transdermal systems.

Just as combined birth control pills, combined patches contain two active ingredients. For example, Ortho Evra patch (very popular in the USA) includes active ingredients Ethinyl estradiol and Norelgestromin.

The effectiveness of birth control patch containing Norelgestromin and Ethinyl estradiol is proven by the results of three clinical studies conducted on three different continents (in North America as well). The results of these studies have demonstrated that the effectiveness of birth control patch is a little less than 99%.

By comparing combined birth control pills and patches, it can be concluded that their effectiveness is almost identical. However, when choosing a method of contraception, it is necessary to pay attention not only to its effectiveness, but also to safety.

Side effects are caused by any hormonal medicines, including oral and transdermal contraceptives. Most side effects of contraceptive pills and patches are identical. There are also specific side effects that occur only after using patches.

When using birth control patches, itching, rash, inflammation may occur. Therefore, this contraception method is not recommended for women with hypersensitive skin.

When using birth control pills, skin side effects are very rare. Most often, after the use of oral contraceptives, nausea occurs. Therefore, women with gastrointestinal diseases can be recommended alternative methods of birth control.

  • How effective is birth control implant?

Subcutaneous implants containing progestin hormone analogs are one of the most effective medicines used for a long-term contraception.

One of the largest US suppliers of contraceptive implants – Merck published data that they are more effective than oral, transdermal and vaginal contraceptive methods.

Merck asserts that birth control implants are as effective as injectable, intrauterine and surgical methods of preventing pregnancy.

Absolute advantage of birth control implant is that it helps to prevent pregnancy within 2-3 years after the subcutaneous administration.

A significant disadvantage of birth control implant is that a woman cannot place it under the skin by herself. Therefore, besides purchasing birth control implant, a woman needs to pay for doctor’s services.

If you want more information on how effective hormonal and non-hormonal birth control methods are, please, ask your questions by email or phone. After getting a pharmacist’s qualified consultation on online pharmacy, you can buy effective birth control medicines that are required in your case.