There are many different birth control options for women to choose from, but not all of them offer the same level of effectiveness. Being able to rely on your birth control is highly important for keeping your peace of mind, and the three birth control options that are the most effective are also the ones that require the least amount of effort on your part: the implant, the IUD, and the shot. As always, speak with your doctor about your own health conditions and all birth control options before starting one.
- The Implant
This method of birth control involves inserting a matchstick-sized rod into the arm. The rod in turn releases progestin to prevent pregnancy for a full three years. The implant can cost anywhere between $0-$800, depending on your insurance, but it does have the highest success rate of any birth control (besides sterilization) at a solid 99.95%. There are a few other medications that may reduce the effectiveness of the implant, including those used to treat TB, HIV, seizure, and some mental disorders. Many women choose this option because it is very low-maintenance, reliable, and easily reversible. The ability to become pregnant returns almost immediately after the implant is removed.
- The IUD
The IUD is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two kinds, with the first being the copper IUD, which inhibits the way sperm moves and is effective for up to 12 years. The hormonal IUD releases progestin to prevent the egg from leaving the ovary and thickens the cervical mucus to block sperm; this IUD is effective for up to 5 years. The IUD as a whole is the second-most effective method of birth control, with an effectiveness rate of 99.2%. The price to have it implanted ranges between $0-$1000, depending on your insurance. Some women should not use the IUD, including those who have had a pelvic infection following childbirth or an abortion, an STI, or cancer of the uterus or cervix. The primary benefit of this method is that the copper IUD is non-hormonal, so it is safe for women who smoke or are sensitive to estrogen or progestin.
- The Shot
Another highly effective form of birth control is the shot, which is a hormone injection in the arm that prevents pregnancy for up to 12 weeks. This method has a 99% effectiveness rate if the user always receives their shot on time, and a 94% effectiveness rate if the user generally receives their shot at the correct time. The only medication that may reduce the effectiveness of the shot is aminoglutethimide, which is used to treat Cushing’s syndrome. The shot costs between $0-$100 per injection, depending on your insurance. This birth control method is popular because while women don’t have to worry about taking a daily pill, it only lasts for 12 weeks, which is beneficial if they decide to change methods or become pregnant.