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Facts About Using Birth Control

Your Birth Control Questions, Answered

You probably know the basics about how to use the pill, condoms, and other types of birth control, but sometimes day-to-day life is a lot different than what's explained on a package. If you've got more questions than answers when it comes to birth control, then here is some information that may help.

  • Which birth control method is the most effective? How well your birth control works depends on many factors — the most important of which includes how closely you adhere to instructions — but some forms of birth control are more effective than others. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says, for example, that typical use (rather than perfect use) of a birth control pill, patch, or ring has a failure rate of 8 percent, while typical use of a condom has around a 15-percent failure rate; the least effective form is the rhythm method, which has about a 27-percent failure rate. For more on different types of birth control and what to do if you think yours has failed, check out this post.
  • What do I do if I've missed taking a pill? Taking your birth control pill every day at the same time can be tough to remember, and forgetting happens. Many times, all you need to do is take your normal dose at your normal time and forget about it, but sometimes circumstances can be more complicated. Check out our information on what to do if you've missed taking your birth control pill here.
  • What happens when I stop taking birth control? If you've been on the pill for years, you may be worried about what will happen to your body when you stop taking the pill for good. Many women, for example, worry that they'll experience anything from the debilitating cramps to missed periods. If you've stopped or are stopping the pill, then read here for more insight on what will happen when you stop taking birth control.
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