Methods of Contraception More Effective than Pills or Condoms

By Sandra Samuels, MD and Luis G. de Jesus, MD

Recently, Long Acting Reversible Contraception or LARC has been appreciated for its effectiveness in providing reliable contraception. The new IUDs and hormonal implants are both safe and effective to a degree way beyond any other methods. Contraception failure rates are 0.2% (implants), 0.2-0.8% (IUDs), 6% (quarterly injections), 9% (daily pills, weekly skin patch, monthly vaginal ring), 12% (diaphragm or cervical cap), and 18% (condoms).

Major professional societies, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have endorsed LARC as a first-line contraceptive choice for teens and young adults who chose not to be abstinent. LARC by itself does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.