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How effective is contraception?

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Different methods of contraception have different rates of effectiveness in preventing pregnancy.

Contraception is most effective when used correctly and consistently. The failure rate increases if a method of contraception is used incorrectly.

Only male and female condoms are effective at reducing the spread of STDs.

For details about the effectiveness of specific methods of contraception, as well as potential side effects and risks, visit the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women's Health.1


  1. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health. (2011). Birth control methods fact sheet. Retrieved June 4, 2012, from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.html [top]

Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 04/03/2013
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