Pregnancy Prevention

TLDR - Condoms can be 98% effective at preventing pregnancy, but common misuse decreases that to 82%.


Condoms are effective because they block contact with body fluids that cause STIs and pregnancy. In the USA, the actual breakage rate is a low two percent. Most reports of condom failure are the result of inconsistent or incorrect use, not breakage. Forty percent of male college students recently surveyed reported that, within the previous three months, they had not left space for ejaculate at the tip of a condom, and fifteen percent had taken a condom off before completing intercourse. Of one hundred women whose partners use condoms correctly, only two will become pregnant in a twelve-month period. However, if condoms are used inconsistently or imperfectly, the number of pregnancies jumps to eighteen out of one hundred. Additional advantages of condoms for safe sex include low cost, easy access, simple disposal, minimal side effects, and longer-lasting foreplay.

Other forms of birth control, and their effectiveness, include:


  • Oral contraceptive pill (combined hormones), 92% effective

  • Nexplanon contraceptive implant, 99% effective

  • NuvaRing contraceptive vaginal ring, 92% effective

  • Evra contraceptive patch, 92% effective

  • Mirena and Skyla IUD (intrauterine device, with hormones), 99.9% effective,

  • Paragard Copper-T IUD (intrauterine device, without hormones), 99.2 % effective

  • Depo-Provera injectable progesterone, 97% effective

  • Rhythm Method, Fertility awareness, 75% effective

  • Withdrawal, 73% effective

  • No protection, 15% effective