The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Contraception

There are numerous types of contraception available for women, ranging from hormonal methods to intrauterine devices (IUDs). Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, which is why it’s essential to choose the most appropriate one for your individual needs.

In this article, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of some of the most popular types of contraception to help you make an informed decision.

1. The Pill

The pill remains the most popular form of contraception for women. It’s simple to use, effective, and provides additional benefits, such as regulating menstrual cycles and reducing the risk of some cancers.

Pros: The pill has a high success rate and is over 99% effective when taken correctly. Additionally, it may reduce acne, regulate periods, and lessen painful menstrual cramps.

Cons: Taking the pill requires substantial discipline and consistency to be effective. Other side effects can include breakthrough bleeding, nausea, and headaches.

2. The Contraceptive Implant

The contraceptive implant is a small rod inserted under the skin of the upper arm, which releases hormones to prevent pregnancy for up to three years.

Pros: The implant is highly effective, easy to use, and doesn’t require daily attention. It’s also easily reversible, meaning that fertility can rapidly return after removal.

Cons: Side effects of the implant might include breast tenderness, headaches, and irregular periods. Additionally, because it’s a hormonal method of contraception, the implant may not be suitable for those with a history of some medical conditions.

3. The Copper IUD

The copper IUD is an intrauterine device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It can last for up to ten years and has no hormones.

Pros: The copper IUD is an excellent long-term method of contraception with a high effectiveness rate. It’s virtually maintenance-free and can be used as a form of emergency contraception after unprotected sex.

Cons: Inserting the copper IUD can be mildly uncomfortable and may cause cramping or heavier periods. Additionally, it doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections.

4. Diaphragm

A diaphragm is a shallow, silicone cup that’s inserted into the vagina and placed over the cervix to prevent sperm from reaching an egg.

Pros: Diaphragms are reusable and provide contraception for up to two years. They also have no effect on the body’s natural hormone levels.

Cons: The effectiveness of the diaphragm is lower than other devices, with a typical failure rate of around 12-15%. It also requires advance planning, as it must be inserted up to two hours before sex.

5. Condoms

Condoms are a reliable and affordable form of contraception that’s also an effective barrier to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

Pros: Condoms are readily available, easy to use and come in various shapes/sizes. They also have no effect on a person’s natural hormone levels, making them a great option for those who cannot use hormonal contraception.

Cons: The effectiveness of condoms can vary depending on usage, and they are less effective than other long-term methods of contraception. Additionally, they may reduce sensitivity during intercourse.


Choosing the right type of contraception is crucial for each individual’s needs. It’s important to recognize that no method of contraception is 100% effective, so it’s advisable to use a combination of methods or rely on backup contraception, such as emergency contraception, for added protection. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine which form of contraception is right for you.

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