Contraception: methods, effectiveness, advice

Contraception: methods, effectiveness, advice

It is estimated that globally nearly 966 million women of reproductive age are using some method of contraception. While the United Nations (UN) estimates that  contraceptive use is highest among women in ages between 25 and 44 years, young women and adolescents are the groups lacking knowledge in family planning and pregnancy prevention. What is interesting, the most-used contraceptive methods differ statistically, depending on various factors, such as location or marital status.

How do different contraceptive methods vary in effectiveness and what can be done to maximise their reliability? Below we present a comprehensive guide supplemented by recent research data about contraception.

Contraception methods and their effectiveness

Effectiveness is a key factor which determines the choice of contraception, as its primary role is to prevent unwanted pregnancy. What is more, contraceptives may prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), but it is crucial to know that not every method serves this function. What are the most effective contraceptive methods?

According to a report “World Family Planning 2022” published by the United Nations,the number of women of reproductive age who have a need for family planning is increasing every year. However, they fulfill this need in different ways. 

The results of the report involving popular contraceptive methods were divided into three broad categories:

  • Permanent and long-acting
  • Short-acting
  • Traditional

Surprisingly, the most popular contraceptive method and accordingly the most popular method from the first group was female sterilization. Why has it gained so much popularity? It turns out that it is broadly used by women in India, who account for almost half of the number of women using this practice globally. 

The second most popular method of pregnancy and STIs prevention is using male condoms. It is also the most widespread of the so-called short-acting contraceptive methods, among hormonal pills and injections. Intrauterine devices are another commonly chosen way to prevent pregnancy.

Apparently, traditional contraceptive methods have decreased in popularity - a minority of sexually active people all over the world uses withdrawal as a way to prevent pregnancy, which clearly means that the social awareness on contraception is on the rise.

How to choose the best contraception

Choosing the best contraception that will serve its function may be a challenge - the choice should depend on different factors and conditions, such as lifestyle, medical history, family history or any medical contraindications. Nevertheless, to gain even more certainty of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy and staying sexually healthy, it is possible to combine different contraceptive methods. 

In order to choose the best contraception, it is useful to answer the following questions:

  • Do I need permanent or short-acting contraception? Am I willing to plan a family in the future?
  • Do I suffer from any chronic diseases or have a family history tracking back such illnesses?
  • Do I want to protect against sexually transmitted diseases? 
  • Am I planning to have one partner or multiple partners?
  • Do I prefer a hormonal or non-hormonal contraception?
  • How much money am I willing to spend on contraception monthly, yearly etc.?
  • Am I allergic to any substances or materials, for example latex?

The questions mentioned above may be a great starting point for choosing the most convenient contraception. It is crucial to remember, though, that starting to use contraception should always be preceded by a specialist’s consultation. A medical practitioner will advise on the most convenient method that is adjusted to the patient’s needs and lifestyle.

In case of any questions or doubts, it is always recommended to refer to trusted, medical sources or making use of the latest research. You will find up-to-date information on contraception in BerkeleyHealth Application. Self-testing for ovulation or menopause and monitoring the menstrual cycle is available owing to a wide offer or BerkeleyHealth self-tests. Take care of your health today!


Source: United Nations - World Family Planning 2022. Meeting the changing needs for family planning: Contraceptive use by age and method.