1. /
  2. Articles
  3. /
  4. Sex, Sexuality & Pregnancy
  5. /
  6. Condoms & Contraception: A...

Condoms & Contraception: A Comparative Guide.

by | Jun 2, 2007 | Sex, Sexuality & Pregnancy

Taken From: Consumer Reports – http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/health-fitness/health-care/condoms-and-contraception-205/a-comparative-guide/index.htm

Between the polar opposites of contraception, abstinence (0 percent failure rate) and doing nothing to prevent pregnancy (85 percent failure rate), there are myriad choices. If sexually transmitted disease is a concern, only male and female condoms offer protection.

Pill (estrogen & progestin) Progestin intrauterine system (Mirena)
Three-month pill (Seasonale) Diaphragm
Patch (Ortho Evra) Cervical cap
Ring (NuvaRing) Surgical sterilization
Mini-pill (progestin only) Transcervical sterilization (Essure)
Injection (Depo-Provera) Spermicides
Male condom Periodic abstinence
Female condom Vasectomy
Copper intrauterine device (ParaGard)

 

Pill (estrogen & progestin) Back to top
Failure rate(pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1 if used perfectly; 8 in typical use.
Price $20-$50 per 28-day cycle
How it’s used Daily pill for 3 weeks, then an inactive pill for 1 week, producing withdrawal bleeding
How it works Prevents ovulation and thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from passing.
Advantages Long-term use reduces lifetime risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Typically eases menstrual symptoms such as cramps.
Disadvantages Can cause nausea, breast tenderness, spotting, moodiness, and headaches. Estrogen raises blood-clot risk slightly for healthy users, and significantly for smokers or those with high blood pressure.
Three-month pill (Seasonale) Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1 if used perfectly. Method is too new for typical use statistics.
Price $115 for 3 months
How it’s used Daily pill for 12 weeks, then inactive pill for 1 week, producing withdrawal bleeding.
How it works Same as pill.
Advantages Same as for pill. Suppresses periods for 3 months at a time.
Disadvantages Side effects same as for pill. Irregular bleeding can occur during the first cycles.
Patch (Ortho Evra) Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1 if used perfectly. Method is too new for typical use statistics.
Price $40 per 28-day cycle
How it’s used Patch put on buttocks, abdomen, upper torso, or arm weekly for 3 weeks, then left off for 1 week, producing withdrawal bleeding.
How it works Same as pill, except that hormones do not pass through digestive system.
Advantages Same as for pill. No need to take a daily pill.
Disadvantages Side effects same as for pill. Can detach from or irritate skin. Less effective in women weighing more than 200 pounds.
Ring (NuvaRing) Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1 if used perfectly. Method is too new for typical use statistics.
Price $38 per 28-day cycle
How it’s used Hormone-impregnated polymer ring worn in vagina for 3 weeks, then removed for 1 week, producing withdrawal bleeding.
How it works Same as pill, except that hormones do not pass through digestive system.
Advantages Same as for pill. No need to take a daily pill. Can remove for up to 3 hours without compromising effectiveness.
Disadvantages Side effects same as for pill. May cause vaginal irritation or discharge. If dislodged or removed for more than 3 hours, must use backup contraception for 7 days.
Mini-pill (progestin only) Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1 if used perfectly; 8 in typical use.
Price $30-$50 per 28-day cycle
How it’s used Daily pill.
How it works Thickens cervical mucus to block sperm.
Advantages Can be used when health prevents use of pills with estrogen.
Disadvantages Possible irregular bleeding. May raise cholesterol levels. Must take pill at same time each day.
Injection (Depo-Provera) Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1 if used according to schedule; 3 in typical use.
Price $57 per injection plus cost of office visit
How it’s used A progestin injection every 3 months, usually at the doctor’s office.
How it works Same as mini-pill.
Advantages Frequently suppresses periods completely.
Disadvantages Can cause weight gain. Should not be used for more than 2 years because of bone thinning risk. May take 1 year or more to regain fertility after stopping use.
Male condom Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) 2 if used perfectly; 15 if used typically.
Price $0.25-$1 per use
How it’s used Put over erect penis prior to or during foreplay.
How it works Sheath prevents sperm from entering vagina and uterus.
Advantages Very effective in preventing sexually transmitted disease.
Disadvantages Interrupts foreplay. May interfere with sensation. May break or slip off during use.
Female condom Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) 5 if used perfectly; 21 if used typically.
Price $3 per use
How it’s used Insert into vagina prior to or during foreplay.
How it works Sheath covers vagina and cervix, prevents sperm from entering uterus.
Advantages No hormonal side effects. Helps prevent sexually transmitted disease.
Disadvantages Interrupts sexual foreplay. Large and awkward to use.
Copper intrauterine device (ParaGard) Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1.
Price $250 to $300 every 10 years plus cost of office visit
How it’s used T-shaped copper device Inserted into uterus at doctor’s office. Can leave in place for up to 10 years.
How it works Believed to inhibit passage of sperm and maturation of eggs.
Advantages Fertility returns soon after removal. No hormonal side effects.
Disadvantages Can occasionally fall out. May increase menstrual cramps and bleeding. Rarely, can perforate uterus.
Progestin intrauterine system (Mirena) Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1.
Price $300 to $400 every 5 years plus cost of office visit
How it’s used T-shaped plastic device, with progestin, inserted into uterus at doctor’s office. Can leave in place for 5 years.
How it works Same as mini pill.
Advantages Fertility returns soon after removal. May lessen menstrual cramps and bleedings, or stop periods.
Disadvantages Can occasionally fall out. Rarely, can perforate uterus. Irregular spotting for first 3 to 6 months.
Diaphragm Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) 6 if used perfectly; 16 if used typically.
Price $30 to $40, plus cost of fitting and spermicide
How it’s used Rubber dome placed over cervix before intercourse and left in place for 6 to 24 hours. Used with spermicide.
How it works Prevents sperm from passing from vagina into uterus.
Advantages Can be inserted prior to foreplay. No hormonal side effects. Does not interfere with normal menstrual cycle.
Disadvantages Must plan ahead for use. Must remember to have on hand if away from home.
Cervical cap Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) For women who have not delivered vaginally, 9 in perfect use, 16 in typical use. For others who have, 26 in perfect use and 32 in typical use.
Price $100-$200, plus cost of fitting and spermicide
How it’s used Silicon or latex rigid covering placed over cervix before sex and left in place for 8 to 48 hours. Used with spermicide.
How it works Prevents sperm from passing from vagina into uterus.
Advantages Can be inserted prior to foreplay. No hormonal side effects. Does not interfere with normal menstrual cycle.
Disadvantages Must plan ahead for use. Must remember to have on hand if away from home.
Surgical sterilization Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1.
Price $2,500 to $4,000
How it’s used Fallopian tubes cut, blocked, or tied off in laparoscopic surgery.
How it works Prevents sperm from reaching eggs.
Advantages Does not affect hormones or menstrual cycle.
Disadvantages Irreversible. Inappropriate for women who may wish to have more children.
Transcervical sterilization (Essure) Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1.
Price $2,000 to $3,000
How it’s used Coils inserted into fallopian tubes using instrument passed through the cervix.
How it works After three months, scar tissue forms that blocks tubes, preventing passage of eggs.
Advantages Does not affect hormones or menstrual cycle.
Disadvantages Irreversible. Inappropriate for women who may wish to have more children.
Spermicides Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) 15 if used perfectly; 29 if used typically.
Price $1 to $1.50 per use
How it’s used Jelly, suppository, foam, or cream inserted into vagina no more than 1 hour before intercourse.
How it works Chemicals block cervix and kill sperm.
Advantages Can buy without a prescription at drugstores and some supermarkets.
Disadvantages Can leak. High failure rate if not used carefully. Those with nonoxynol-9 may irritate penis or vagina and may raise risk of sexually transmitted disease.
Periodic abstinence Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) 1-9 if used perfectly; 25 if used typically.
Price No cost
How it’s used Abstention from intercourse during fertile days of the menstrual cycle.
How it works Fertile period determined by examining menstrual cycle, cervical mucus, and/or resting body temperature.
Advantages Only acceptable method in some religions. No physical or hormonal side effects.
Disadvantages High failure rate if used incorrectly, or if woman has irregular cycle.
Vasectomy Back to top
Failure rate (pregnancies per 100 users per year) Less than 1.
Price $250 to $1,000
How it’s used Sperm tubes tied or sealed in outpatient surgery via incision in the scrotum.
How it works Sperm blocked from mingling with ejaculate so cannot cause pregnancy.
Advantages Does not affect sexual performance. Does not require action by woman.
Disadvantages Irreversible. Not appropriate for men who may wish to father more children.

Related Post

When Should I Have Sex?

The 'simple answer' is that you should have sex when you feel comfortable and ready to do so. But of course, life is rarely ever made sense of with the simple answers! Feelings are not always easy to understand and it can be hard to make sense of how you feel! Whether...

What is the Average Penis Size? Does Size Matter?

The age-old question, "Am I well hung?" Well, before going on to see where you stand, or should we say hang, remember that size isn’t everything. Most women prefer a man with a less then average penis and great at cunnilingus, to a man with a larger penis and no...

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Article in METRO newspaper, June 14 2001. (Found by Helen Watters in 2001) One in five teenagers has an undiagnosed sexually transmitted disease, say doctors in the US. The figure was uncovered by doctors who sent home test kits for various infections to a random...

Seven Things I Wish Pro-Gay People Would Admit.

By: Bob Davies Taken from: http://www.narth.com/ I wish they would admit that many people are not happy with their homosexuality or lesbianism, and that this conflict is internal, based on legitimate, intelligent religious and moral convictions - not just the result...

Homosexuality – A Positive Note.

Today we had a field trip to the local University to learn about HIV/AIDS and there was a fiftyish year old guy there that was HIV positive and he was talking about his growing up in school and he said that he envied our generation because we are much more open than...

In the Grip of Gay Panic. What is This World Coming To?

Taken from: http://www.advocate.com/html/stories/932/932_simpson.asp In the grip of gay panic: "What do the murderers of gay men have in common with the White House? An aggressive strategy to justify their own selfish actions by devaluing the lives of gay men and...

Coming Out Is A Journey. A Small Q & A.

So I always see these topics in the forums where people are looking for the quick fix answers to "coming out." There are none! Coming out is a journey through which all must self navigate, as it is a challenge of fears and based on our own individual experiences. Q:...

Do Not Be Afraid To Be Yourself.

I just wanted to say to those that are out and to those whom are closeted: do not be afraid to be yourself. For a little over 16 years i was who people wanted me to be and i hated it. Day after day of depression because life wasn't good enough and people still thought...

What are Obstetric Ultrasound Scans?

Taken from: http://www.ob-ultrasound.net/ Obstetric Ultrasound is the use of ultrasound scans in pregnancy. Since its introduction in the late 1950's ultrasonography has become a very useful diagnostic tool in Obstetrics. Currently used equipments are known as...