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How effective is my contraceptive method (efficacy)?

Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)

The most effective method for preventing unplanned pregnancy is Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC).

One of the reasons LARC is so effective is that you don’t have to remember to take something each day or each time you have sex.

All LARC methods can be easily reversed at any time and fertility will return as soon as they are removed. LARCs are inserted and removed by specially trained doctors and nurses.

Let’s check out the two types of LARC:

Contraceptive implant

  • 99.95% effective.
  • The contraceptive implant (Implanon) is a soft, flexible rod that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm.
  • Implanon slowly releases a small amount of hormone and lasts for up-to three years.

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

  • Hormonal – Mirena 99.9% effective, Kyleena 99.7% effective
  • Copper – 99.5% effective
  • Both hormonal and copper IUDs are inserted inside the uterus. 
  • The copper IUD contains no hormones and lasts up-to ten years.
  • The hormonal IUD slowly releases a small amount of hormone into the uterus and lasts up-to five years.

Non-LARC options

If LARC isn’t suitable for you, you still have other options. These options are grouped below according to how effective they are at preventing unplanned pregnancy:

Over 99% effective - or less than one pregnancy per 100 women in a year

  • Contraceptive Implant – 99.95% effective – lasts up to three years
  • Hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) – 99.7-99.9% effective – last up to five years
  • Copper intrauterine device (IUD) – 99.5% effective – lasts up to ten years
  • Male sterilisation (vasectomy) – 99.5% effective – permanent
  • Female sterilisation (tubal ligation) – 99.5% effective – permanent

Over 93% effective - or 4 to 7 pregnancies per 100 women in a year

  • Contraceptive injection (Depo) – 96% effective – injection needed every 12 weeks
  • Vaginal ring (Nuva) – 93% effective – new ring needed every four weeks
  • Combined oral contraceptive pill – 93% effective – taken daily
  • Progestogen only contraceptive pill (mini pill) – 93% effective – taken daily

Over 76% effective - or 24 to 12 pregnancies per 100 women in a year

  • Diaphragm – 82% effective
  • Male condom – 88% effective
  • Female condom – 79% effective
  • Withdrawal method – 80% effective
  • Fertility awareness methods – 76% effective

Finding the right contraceptive option for you

We have more detailed information about each method available here.

Finding which option works for you can be complicated, but our friendly Doctors are here to help

Useful documents

You may find these downloads helpful:

How effective is my contraception (efficacy)?
FPAA Contraceptive efficacy comparison
Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)

This content is provided for general information and education purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances. It is not to be relied on in substitution for specific advice from a medical professional and Family Planning Tasmania does not accept responsibility for such use. Family Planning Tasmania has taken every effort to ensure that the information is up to date and accurate, however information and knowledge is subject to change. Family Planning Tasmania advises that you always consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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