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samfoxwu
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When discussing the effectiveness of a combination birth control, and the rate of effectiveness with perfect use is 98-99% or whatever. Is that effectiveness measured in terms of risk?

Like is the pill 98-99% effective in the case where ejaculate is present in a sexual encounter, and only only one method of birth control is used?

I've never really understood what the effectiveness was in reference to, so I was just wondering if I could get that cleared up.

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Heather
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When effectiveness with contraception is studied, it simply studies groups of people having (or, in the case of typical use rates, reporting they have had) the kinds of sex -- namely, vaginal intercourse -- where pregnancy can be a risk.

And those rates are figured for a period of one year of time, not per use. In other words, when a method says it is 98% effective, that means in one year of studied or reported use, not for one time a method is used.

That clear it up for you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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samfoxwu
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Okay, so basically if a person is a perfect pill user, no matter what kind of sex they are having, with varying degrees of risk, they have a one to two percent chance of getting pregnant in a given year of using the pill?
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Heather
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That's about right, yes.

And most people use pills typically, not the way use is measured in clinical studies, especially over a full year, so more realistically, the failure rate in a year for the pill by itself is around 8%.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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samfoxwu
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Okay. Thanks so much! You guys are all wonderful. [Smile]
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