Chrome 2001
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Chrome 2001
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Harvard Commentaries
35320
Harvard Commentaries
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School


Choosing Birth Control: Reversible Options


October 22, 2013

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Choosing Birth Control: Reversible Options

Natural Methods Average Success Rate STD Protection Average Cost Prescription Or Doctor's Assistance Side Effects Or Restrictions
Abstinence 100 percent, while you abstain Yes $0 No N/A
Natural Family Planning/Periodic Abstinence 84-97 percent, while you abstain No $0-$10 No N/A
Barrier Methods Average Success Rate STD Protection Average Cost Prescription Or Doctor's Assistance Side Effects Or Restrictions
Condom (Male) 85-97 percent, as long as condoms are used with each act of sexual intercourse Yes, but not completely $0.50-$3 No No
Condom (Female) 80-90 percent, only during sexual contact Yes, but variable $3 No No
Diaphragm 80-90 percent, with appropriate use Yes, but less than condoms $20-$30 Yes No
Sponge 80-90 percent, with appropriate use Possible $3-$4 No No
Spermicides 50-75 percent, if used with each act of intercouse; better with condom or diaphragm Yes, about a 25-percent lower risk of infection $0.50-$12, depending on quantity No May irritate the vagina
Hormonal Methods Average Success Rate STD Protection Average Cost Prescription Or Doctor's Assistance Side Effects Or Restrictions
Birth Control Pills 98-99 percent continuous, if taken daily No $10-$30 monthly Yes Yes
Depo-Provera (Quarterly Injection) Up to 99 percent continuous, if taken every 3 months No 60-$75 every 3 months Yes, along with injection every 12 weeks Yes
Vaginal Ring 98-99 percent continuous, if changed monthly No $30 monthly Yes Yes
Skin Patch 98-99 percent continuous, if changed weekly No $30-$40 monthly Yes Yes
Implants Up to 99 percent for 5 years No $450-$750 per insertion Yes, provider performs insertion Yes
Intrauterine Devices Average Success Rate STD Protection Average Cost Prescription Or Doctor's Assistance Side Effects Or Restrictions
Intrauterine Device (Copper IUD) 98-99 percent for 10 years No $200-$300 per device Yes, provider performs insertion Yes
Intrauterine System (Levonorgestrel) 98-99 percent for 5 years No $395 Yes, provider performs insertion Yes
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