Canada Drugs Direct

Coming Soon for Canadian customers

Want to save up to 80% on your medications? Signup below to be notified when our online Canadian pharmacy is open.

I agree to receive email updates from Canada Drugs Direct

How Effective is Birth Control?

how effective birth control

<< Go back to blog

Most birth control pills are 99% effective if taken exactly as directed. The most common misstep women make is they forget to take the pill occasionally. When that occurs, the effectiveness rate goes down to about 91%. What this means is that for every 10 women taking birth control, 1 will get pregnant. So how effective is birth control? Very effective, but not 100% reliable and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Of course, the answer to this question is much more complex than this. Its important to be aware of what causes birth control to become ineffective. We’ll look at most of that here, and look at another common question – how effective is the birth control shot?

Well, for starters the name of the birth control shot is the Depo-Provera shot. And the most important factor in the effectives of the birth control shot is making sure you get yours every 12 weeks. Now in asking how effective is the birth control pill, there may be some women who’d like a direct answer to which one is better and / or more reliable. Birth control pill, or birth control shot?

And to introduce a little levity to an otherwise fairly serious subject matter, let’s also have a look at some far-from-ordinary birth control means that people have actually used over the course of history.

Ensuring Effectiveness

As mentioned, if you don’t take your birth control everyday then it becomes more likely that pregnancy will occur. Another good tip is to avoid certain medications that prevent birth control pills like Alesse (Levonorgestrel) or Levora (Nordette) from working with maximum effectiveness. These include:

  • Rifampin (Rifampicin), an antibiotic used to treaty certain bacterial infections. Tuberculosis most notably
  • Griseofulvin, an antifungal used to treat athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm and more
  • Some HIV (human immune-deficiency virus) medications
  • Some anti-seizure medications

It is important to note here that other antibiotics and anti-fungals BESIDES Rifampin and Griseofulvin are fine and will not lower the effectiveness of your birth control medication.

And there’s one natural herbal supplement that should be avoided for the same reasons. St. John’s Wort is one of the things that can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. So how effective is birth control? Very effective, provided you take it regularly and as directed and avoid anything that might reduce the effectiveness of medications like Yasmin (Drospirenone) or any of the other types of birth control meds.

Surprising Birth Control Methods Round 1

As promised we’re breaking things up with a little more odd and engaging approach to the subject matter. Some of the earliest forms of birth control date back to 1850 BC, and one of them back them for women in Egypt was.. crocodile dung! That’s right, women would insert this substance and it would prevent sperm from making its way past the mess.

The fact that crocodiles were associated with Set – the Egyptian god connected to hemorrhaging, abortion, and miscarriage. Another contraception choice for those Ancient Egyptians was honey. It was mixed with berries and bitter apply and spread on what could be considered a tampon. Again, the idea was there was no way the sperm could advance.

How Effective is the Birth Control Shot?

The good answer is here is that the shot is very effective, and again the only major risk of it not being that way is if you neglect getting it regularly every 12 weeks. In addition, the shot starts working immediately if you receive it within the first 5 days of your menstrual period. Similar to birth control pills, it’s regarded as being 99% reliable for preventing pregnancy.

A few consideration for this method as well, however. It’s not recommended for women who are experienced unexplained vaginal bleeding, or have liver disease, breast cancer, or blood clots. It’s also not advisable for use by teenaged young women. Women with osteoporosis also need to be careful with it because of Depo-Provera’s relation to bone loss.

The good news is that the shot is also often less expensive than birth control pills in America, depending on your insurance and / or which type of pill you choose to go with.

The not so good news? While the answer to how effective is the birth control shot is 99% effective, there’s potential side effects for women using it as their contraception means. These side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Acne
  • Irregular menstrual periods, or none at all
  • Nervousness
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss

All this said, birth control shots are something any woman considering birth control should look at as an alternative to birth control pills. For some women, it’s a more practical choice.

Surprising Birth Control Methods Round 2

It’s good to know how effective is the birth control pill for women, but how much faith would you put in someone telling you the same thing about Coca-Cola? Believe it or not, the famous fizzy drink HAS been used as a contraceptive method. During the 1950s and 1960s some women used the soda to rinse their insides after sex.

Researchers tested this method out, and found out that the carbonic acid in the Coke DID in fact kill sperm. A few problems with this though; first, female anatomy experts insisted that some sperm might be long gone upstream before the Coca-Cola was introduced, and second – the soda would remove healthy bacteria and the top layer of cells in the vagina, which could increase the likelihood of a sexually transmitted disease.

We’ll wrap up discussing how effective is birth control here today with an alternative approach that is legit, although it certainly will NOT have the same 90+% effectiveness of pharmaceuticals. What is it, you ask? It’s juniper berries! Ancient North Americans made a tea from juniper berries and women would drink it for 3 consecutive days to prevent pregnancy.

How is that possible? Well, the constituents of the berries in their juice make the lining of the uterus unsuitable for embryonic growth. Not suggesting any of you rely on it as a means of birth control, but it’s interesting to note at least that apparently this actually works!


IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for your pet. See your veterinarian for medical advice and treatment for your pet if you have any concerns.


<< Go back to blog