This Website Lets You Compare 17 Birth Control Methods
From assessing the costs to weighing the risks, choosing a birth control method can feel totally overwhelming. In fact, a lot of women don't even know all the options available to them.
According to a recent Urban Institute study, 31 percent of women aren't aware of long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs and implants, which are among the most effective ones. To make it easier to figure out what's out there, the health startup Iodine created a page that lists 17 methods along with their failure rates, pricing information, and ratings from thousands of women. You can filter the options depending on what's most important to you, viewing them ranked by price, effectiveness, number of common side effects, or user satisfaction, among other criteria.
Katie Mui, Iodine's Heathcare Economist, told us the tool was created to clear up misconceptions about birth control. For example, she said, a lot of people don't know about methods outside of condoms and the pill. In reality, the ring, shot, and patch are as effective as the pill but have fewer side effects and require less effort to use, and IUDs and implants have lower failure rates.
People also might be surprised to learn that condoms received an 84 percent "worth it" rating — the highest of any of the methods.
A few other fun facts you can learn from scrolling around on the page: The most cost-effective method is obviously withdrawal, but unsurprisingly, it's the least "worth it," with 56 percent of people recommending it. But the cervical cap and spermicide have even higher failure rates.
The method least likely to get you pregnant is the implant: Only half a percent of people using it get pregnant over the course of a year. Male sterilization comes next, followed by female sterilization and then the IUD.
If you're in the market for a new birth control method, this is definitely one place to start looking. You might discover options that you hadn't even considered.
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