Methods of Birth Regulation by Effectiveness

Method Possible Side Effects % Effect-iveness Theoretical % Effect-iveness Actual Contin
% Rate At
One Year
Harmful to Fertility? Who is Responsible for Use
Natural Family Planning
Creighton Model FertilityCare None 99.5 96.8 89 No Man & Woman
Ovulation Methods None 97-99 93-98 65 No Man & Woman
Sympto-Thermal Methods None 98-99 96-97 69 No Man & Woman
Barrier Methods
Condom Allergic reaction or irritation 97 88 63 No Man

Allergic reaction or irritation

Can be difficult to remove

94 82 58 No Woman
Vaginal Spermicides* Creams, Gels, Suppositories Allergic reaction or irritation 94 79 43 No Woman
Sterilization Surgeries*
Tubal Ligation Operations may be complicated by bleeding
and/or infection Increased rates of: hysterectomy, ectopic pregnancy, painful periods
99.8 99.6 100 Yes Woman
Vasectomy May increase risk of prostate cancer 99.9 99.8 100 Yes Man
Intrauterine Device (IUD)* Heavy, irregular or painful menses; painful
intercourse; infection; ectopic pregnancy; perforation of uterus; infertility. Requires replacement every 5 years.
98 97 80 Yes Woman
Birth Control Pills (2 hormones) * Contraceptive: suppresses ovulation (the release of the egg ). If ovulation occurs, the sperm may be prevented from reaching the egg because of thickened cervical mucus. **Abortifacient: if ovulation occurs (3-5% of cycles) and conception occurs, the “pill” acts by preventing the attachment of early human life to the uterus Common: may delayreturn of normal fertility. Breast tenderness, breast cysts, depression, weight gain, headaches, nausea and vomiting, irregular bleeding. Rare: possible increased risk of breast cancers, liver tumors, elevated blood pressure, heart attack, blood clots, stroke 99.6 94 72 May Delay Woman
Progestational Agents (one hormone)
*Contraceptive and ** Abortifacient: works like
the birth control pill, but ovulation occurs more frequently; 10-50% of cycles for Norplant and5% for Depo-Provera. Depo-Provera (injection every three months)
Delays return of fertility by an average of
nine months after last shot; irregular menses; acne; weight gain; headaches; anxiety; breast pain
99.7 99.7 70 Delays Woman
Terms: Conception: Union of sperm and egg; the beginning of human life *Contraception: prevents conception **Abortifacient: agent that ends human life after conception has occurred Compiled by Peter Danis, M.D. and the American Academy of FCS Credit: St.Louis NFP Program