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Oops! Almost 50 Percent of Women Overestimate the Effectiveness of Their Birth Control

3611588When one is trying actively NOT to become pregnant but yet still likes to get busy, relying on some form of birth control is key. And while you may believe you are safe from becoming knocked up by taking the pill and/or using condoms, there are some worrisome findings reported by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

It turns out 45 percent of women using the pill and condoms are overestimating the effectiveness of these methods. That would add up to a whole bunch of unplanned pregnancies.

And that’s not all. Women apparently also had “too much faith in hormonal birth control patches, vaginal rings and injections.”  The study notes that the pill and condoms are the most popular forms of birth control, but they are not the most reliable. The best method of birth control, as it turns out, is the IUD.  The numbers according to this study — are like this:

The IUD – Between 0.2 percent and 0.8 percent will have an unplanned pregnancy.
A Contraceptive Implant  – 0.05 percent chance of a unplanned pregnancy.
The Pill About a 9 percent rate of unintended pregnancies.
Condoms This had the biggest chance of pregnancies between 18 and 21 percent.

The issue with the pill and condoms is not that they are ineffective in nature, but that human error gets involved. The condom breaks, a woman skips a day or two of her pill stuff happens. “We need to do a better job of educating the public — women and men — on the failure rates with typical use,” Dr. David L. Eisenberg, of Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, told Reuters Health.

Dr. Eisenberg says that the IUD has been misunderstood and that there are misconceptions about this conception stopper. Reuters Health notes that, “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said that IUDs and implants should be offered as ‘first-line’ options for most women, because of their effectiveness and safety.” But an IUD is more expensive than traditional birth control methods and, like any medical solution, carries some side effects such as menstrual irregularities.

You can read more about the report on Reuters Health or the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology right here.

Photo credit: grietgriet from morguefile.com

 

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