Is Birth Control 100 Percent Effective?

Ask a Doctor

I have high blood pressure and other health conditions that make it dangerous for me to get pregnant. I’ve been single for several years and not interested in dating, but I recently met someone I could envision falling in love with. We haven’t been intimate yet, but I’m starting birth control just in case. I need to know I’m not in danger of becoming pregnant because of my health conditions – it really has me anxious. Is birth control 100 percent effective?

Doctor’s Response

Birth control pills are one of the most effective forms of contraception, but they are not 100 percent effective. When taken exactly as prescribed, birth control pills can technically be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. But in real life, it is often difficult to take the pills exactly as prescribed and so the overall, real-life effectiveness is about 91%. Abstinence is the only 100% effective method of preventing pregnancy.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs), sterilization (tubal ligation for women or vasectomy for men), and birth control implants are about 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. The birth control shot is about 94% effective.

Birth control patches and the vaginal ring are equally as effective as birth control pills, preventing pregnancy 91% of the time.


Choosing Your Birth Control Method See Slideshow

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2018. 10 November 2018