I went to the Planned Parenthood web site,

         Planned Parenthood Birth Control

   to see the effectiveness of various birth control methods.

   The effectiveness is based on "normal" use by a couple for a year, from
Planned Parenthood data.

   I calculated the 5 year pregnancy rates based on the 1 year rates.

   Here is a table of the effectiveness:

   Method                   % Pregnancies per year  % per 5 years
   ----------------------   ----------------------  --------------
   Condom (Male)                 15%                    56%
   Condom (Female)               21%                    69%
   Diaphram/Cervical Cap         16%                    58%
   IUD                            1%                     5%
   Pill                           8%                    34%
   Depo-provera (shots)         0.3%                     1%

   Explanation, example the Male Condom:

      Out of 100 couples using the male condom for one year, 15 women will
become pregnant.

      Out of 100 couples using the male condom for five years, there
will be 56 pregnancies.  (Some of the women may become pregnant more than

  This means that 56 women out of 100 will become pregnant if they have sex with
condoms for 5 years.  Those odds are worse than flipping a coin!

  With the IUD there is a 1 in 20 chance of getting pregnant within 5 years, much better
than condoms or the diaphram, which are worse than 50-50.

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last modified on 2004 February 13
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