What’s the Best Contraceptive for You?

Photo by Jenna Pfingsten

Netflix and chill is all fun and games until someone realizes they forgot a condom. In this day and age, it’s extremely important to realize what steps to take to prevent STIs (sexually transmitted infections), as well as unwanted pregnancies. People don’t ever want to be in the position where they don’t have access to a contraceptive when they need it the most. So how do you prepare? What contraceptive works best for you?

Different methods of birth control can protect against STIs, while some provide absolutely no protection. “It is up to each individual to decide what will benefit them the most,” says Joella Foster, a project assistant at Eyes Open Iowa, a teen pregnancy prevention agency.

It’s important to know that you always have an option. “When pregnancy rates decrease, it is either because people are having less sex or they are becoming more effective contraceptive users,” Foster says. So, if you’re ever questioning anything, hit up your physician for some answers.

For those who don’t have easy access to contraceptives, organizations like Planned Parenthood provide information on contraceptives and how to use them. Here’s a quick look at the different types of contraceptives and their rates of effectiveness.


IUD, the “Copper T”

Effectiveness: 99.2 percent

It’s comfortable, hassle-free (once it’s inserted), and it won’t bother your partner. Win!


Effectiveness: 97 percent

It may not be as fun as a tequila shot, but this shot does provide up to 3 months’ worth of protection.

The Pill

Effectiveness: 92 percent

Fewer cramps? Oh, yes! But remember it doesn’t protect you against STIs.


Effectiveness: 92 percent

You don’t have to remember when to take this one—it’s already doing its job.

Male Condom

Effectiveness: 85 percent

Also known as a love glove. It’s prescription-free, easy to put on, and probably just around the corner from you. Just don’t double bag it.

Female Condom

Effectiveness: 79 percent

Score! This provides protection against STIs, though it may be slightly uncomfortable for the woman, so make sure to test it out.


Effectiveness: 73 percent

Also known as pulling out. All natural, no side effects, but it can be unpredictable—not everyone’s a psychic.


Effectiveness: 71 percent

They’re not as scary as they sound, but they’re super affordable, so you can still treat yo’ self for a night out.

No method

Effectiveness: 15 percent

No protection whatsoever—please just pick one and have fun.


Information provided by OPT: Options for Sexual Health and the Center for Young Women’s Health.