Contraceptive Failure Rates and STDs


Real Alternatives pic

Real Alternatives

With state-wide programs in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana, Real Alternatives serves as a parenting and pregnancy support organization. For more than 20 years, Real Alternatives has helped hundreds of thousands of women. The sexual health quiz on its website highlights the potential for contraceptive failure.

According to the Contraceptive Failure in the First Two Years of Use: Differences Across Socioeconomic Subgroups study, which was conducted in 2001, 13 percent of women who use reversible methods of contraceptives, such as the birth control pill, will experience contraceptive failure, which could result in pregnancy or sexually-transmitted disease (STDs) in the first year of use. A further 8 percent will experience contraceptive failure during the second year of use.

The study also discovered that the effectiveness of contraceptives varied based on the woman’s race, age, poverty status, and relationship status. Of particular interest is the discovery that 21.1 percent of women under the age of 18 experience contraceptive failure that leads to unintended pregnancy.

The Center for Disease Control states the healthiest way for women to lower the incidence of sexually transmitted infections and unexpected pregnancy is to abstain from sexually activity until they are in a monogamous relationship. To effectively lower or prevent the risk of an unplanned pregnancy and/or becoming infected with a sexually transmitted infection which can lead to disease. Real Alternatives recommends the following:

First, delaying initiation of intercourse;

Second, reduce the number of partners you have if you are already sexually active; and

Third, decrease the frequency of intercourse you have if you are already sexually active.

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