Women Overrate the Pill, Condoms

Many don't realize they're usually not as effective as IUDs, implants: study
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2012 12:24 PM CDT
Women Overrate the Pill, Condoms
The pills isn't as effective as an IUD, at least when 'typical use' is factored in, according to a new study.   (Shutterstock)

Women tend to think that birth control pills and condoms are more effective than they actually are, say the authors of a new study. What's more, when women learn about the full range of options of available, they're far more likely to choose an IUD or a contraceptive implant, reports Reuters. The reason? The latter two methods have a pregnancy rate of well under 1% a year. For condoms and the pill, not so much.

Factoring in "typical use"—meaning forgetfulness and other mistakes—the pregnancy rate for women on the pill is about 9%, according to the study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It's about twice that for those who rely on condoms. "We need to do a better job of educating the public—women and men—on the failure rates with typical use," says the lead researcher. If prices come down and health insurers cooperate, he thinks IUDs and implants should become the "default" choices for women. (More contraceptive stories.)

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