Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Birth Control Failure Probabilities

This NYT article was floating around a few months ago.  It talks about birth control failure probabilities over the course of 10 years.  It's pretty scary because it makes it seem like virtually all forms of birth control will have more than a 50% chance of failing by year 10.


  1. I don't see how this is an astounding fact. It's just logic. Birth control inherently is not 100% effective, so the more you engage in "risky" behavior (i.e. having sex using contraception), the greater your chance is of an unwanted pregnancy over time.

    You could apply this logic to any behavior. If the chances of getting into an accident are 1% every time you drive, you're more likely to have gotten into an accident if you commute daily for 10 yrs versus someone who drives infrequently.

    The bigger point of this article is not that all birth control will eventually fail, it's that some methods are better than others over time. Of course, it doesn't even consider side effects or costs.