One in every three pregnancies in the Philippines is unplanned. And part of this number can be attributed to misuse of birth control.
Which begs to one of the most popular questions asked in mommy groups – how reliable is birth control? So we took a look at the effectivity rate of the birth control options available for us.
Natural family planning, rhythm method, or calendar method — 76%
This method entails tracking your ovulation and menstrual period to know when you are fertile or not. A lot of women do this by either manually counting their period days or using a period tracking app. While other women also take their temperature every day or check their cervical mucus. Doing any of these perfectly could mean a less than 5% chance of you getting pregnant. However, tracking everything religiously can be hard, more so for women who have irregular periods. Hence, the effectiveness of natural family planning is pegged at around 76%.
Birth control pills — 91% to 99.7%
Oral contraceptives, which contain hormones that stop ovulation, are effective around 99.7% if used correctly and consistently. However, a lot of women tend to miss it a few times, bringing the effectivity rate to around 91%. At the same time, other reasons that could affect its efficiency include:
- You are vomiting or have diarrhea for more than 48 hours.
- You are taking certain antibiotics, anti-seizure medications, or even herbal supplements.
- You are overweight. Some studies state that birth control pills are not as effective for women who might be obese.
So you might have to consider using a backup contraceptive or switch if you have any of these health issues. At the same time, if you missed a dose, take it as soon as you can while also using a backup contraceptive. For mini-pill or progestin users, try to take it within the same 3 hour period every day.
Condom — 82% to 98%
A condom is considered a barrier method of contraception that works by physically preventing the sperm from entering the uterus. If used correctly, the condom is 98% effective but goes down to 82% if not. You also have to consider that condoms can break and should be used correctly.
Birth control shot — 99.8%
The birth control shot contains the progestin hormone, which can stop ovulation, and is given every 3 months. If used correctly, it has a 99.8% effectiveness rate, but some people also tend to forget to get it on time.
If you prefer this method, be sure to get follow-up shots within 10 to 15 weeks of your last shot.
Birth control implant — 99.9%
The birth control implant is a thin, matchstick-sized rod that a doctor inserts in your arm, which then releases hormones that can prevent unwanted pregnancies for up to 3 years. This can be a good option for women who might have trouble remembering their pills everyday or their shots every 3 months. But you would also have to remember to get it changed after 3 years.
The bottom line, it’s best to consult your doctor to know the best contraceptive for you and the right way to use it to ensure its efficiency. Also, if you miss a period while using any of the contraceptives, or experience any early pregnancy signs such as tiredness, bloating, moodiness, nausea, tender breasts, or the need to pee a lot, it’s important to consult your doctor first before using any contraceptive again.
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