The six least reliable contraceptives, according to the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in decreasing order of effectiveness.
1.Female condom ~ 80%
This is a special latex pouch that can be placed in the vagina. Qualitatively, it does not differ from the male one, however, it is worse held in the right position due to the lack of reliable fixation. Therefore, the effectiveness of the female condom is lower – one in 5 women will become pregnant when using it.
2. Interrupted sexual intercourse ~ 78%
Doubtful method of contraception, which nevertheless is popular. The reason is clear: he does not require anything but the self-control of a man. However, the method has two significant drawbacks. Firstly, there are no guarantees that the partner will maintain self-control in anticipation of orgasm. The hormonal cocktail that controls behavior during sex stimulates ejaculation, and overcoming the desire to bring things to the end can be very difficult. Secondly, during excitement and frictions, the pre-ejaculate is secreted from the male urethra – a fluid that acts as a lubricant and is similar in chemical properties to sperm. In the pre-ejaculate, there may also be spermatozoa, which will not prevent anything from penetrating the cervix.
3. Vaginal sponge, diaphragm or uterine cap ~ 76–80%
The principle of action for these methods of barrier contraception is one: they are put on the cervix and interfere with the flow of sperm. Using diaphragms or caps is quite difficult: to properly position them inside, skill is required, in addition, they are easily displaced during sex and rarely fit in size. The percentage of pregnancy when using caps is especially high among women giving birth – up to 24%, for nulliparous women it is from 15 to 20%.
4. Calendar Method ~ 76%
For this method, you need to carefully monitor some physiological parameters during the menstrual cycle to find out about the onset of ovulation – the moment of the highest probability of pregnancy. Women measure rectal temperature, which varies depending on the concentration of the hormone progesterone (responsible for ovulation), monitor the nature of the discharge and the condition of the cervix. By changing the parameters, you can learn about imminent ovulation: according to the method, these days you must either abstain from sex or use barrier methods of contraception. The risk of inefficiency of this method is great: it is easy to make mistakes with the calculations, especially since the cycle time may increase or, conversely, become shorter due to illness or stress. The exact effectiveness of the method is unknown, but according to some estimates it does not exceed 76%.
5. Spermicides ~ 72%
One of the oldest methods of contraception. Spermicides are chemicals that slow down or destroy sperm. Funds are available in a variety of forms: in the form of a cream, foam, suppositories or tablets that are injected into the vagina. Low efficiency (up to 28% of pregnancies) is most often associated with improper use: for example, when partners do not observe the time intervals in which spermicides remain active, or an insufficient amount of the substance is administered.
6. Alternative methods of contraception ~ 0%
There are many available ways of protection, but it does not make sense to list them: douching with lemon juice, Coca-Cola and vinegar, various herbal preparations, extracts, etc. – all this is ineffective at best, and can cause serious harm to health at worst.
What are the most reliable products?
1.Intrauterine devices and subcutaneous implant: ~ 99%
The implant is introduced under the skin and constantly releases hormones (estrogen and progesterone) for three years. It blocks ovulation and impedes the penetration of the sperm into the uterus, reducing the production of mucus in the cervix. Special intrauterine devices reduce the risk of meeting the sperm with the egg to nothing and serve as a reliable contraceptive for 3-10 years, then they must be replaced.
2. Vaginal ring and hormonal contraceptives: 90–94%
The ring secretes hormones estrogen and progesterone, which block ovulation and prevent pregnancy. They put it on for a month, then change it to a new one. The birth control patch also releases hormones that enter the bloodstream through the skin. The patch must be changed every week. Oral contraceptives also effectively block ovulation and prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg. High efficiency is maintained only if taken correctly according to the scheme indicated in the instructions.
3. Male condom: 82%
In the list of methods of barrier contraception, the most reliable is the male condom. This is the only way of protection that protects not only from unwanted pregnancy, but also from sexually transmitted infections. It must be used constantly, and this is especially important if you do not have a permanent partner. However, theoretically high contraceptive effectiveness – 97–99% – can be achieved only with careful use. It is easy to damage a condom when donning or during intercourse, or when stored improperly. An improperly worn condom can slip during or after sex. In the case of such errors, its efficiency is not more than 82%.