Intrauterine devices, under-the-skin implants and Depo-Provera injections — the long-acting reversible contraceptives — are much more effective in preventing pregnancy than the transdermal patch, the vaginal ring or the birth control pill, a new study reports.
Researchers provided 7,486 volunteers with the contraceptive of their choice, then followed them for up to three years. (Women using condoms, diaphragms and natural family planning were not included in the analysis.) There were 334 unintended pregnancies.
Failure rates for pills, patches and rings were more than 9 percent by the end of the study, compared with less than 1 percent for the long-acting reversible methods. The study appeared in the May 24 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.