Birth Control Pills, Patch, or Ring
How Well It Works
Estrogen-progestin pills, skin patches, or vaginal rings are effective methods of birth control when they are used exactly as directed. Since some women do not use their birth control as directed, pregnancy does happen in a certain number of women. This has been shown by studies of actual users.
- Among pill users, 8 women out of 100 become pregnant each year.Reference 3 Of women who take their pills every day, only 3 out of 1,000 become pregnant each year.Reference 3 When the method fails, it is usually because of skipping a daily pill or two.
- Among skin patch and contraceptive vaginal ring users, 8 women out of 100 are expected to become pregnant each year. With perfect use, only 3 out of 1,000 become pregnant each year.Reference 4
The pill and the patch may not work as well if you are overweight. Talk with your doctor about the type of birth control that will work best for you.
Low-dose pills are as highly effective as higher-dose pills when you take them as directed. But your risk of pregnancy is higher after missing low-dose pills than after missing higher-dose pills.Reference 1
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 3, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology