May 14, 2021

Does Birth Control Actually Work?

Contraceptive methods have different degrees of effectiveness in preventing or delaying unintended pregnancy. This partly depends on whether instructions are followed correctly. Besides effectiveness, people of reproductive age need to weigh a number of other factors when evaluating birth control methods — including accessibility, ease of use, and safety.

When choosing the most appropriate method of contraception, it’s important to consider your intended duration of use, lifestyle, health, age, and mechanism of action. The various methods of birth control work in different ways. The most common methods? Barrier, intrauterine, and hormonal.

Barrier Methods of Birth Control

Female and male condoms, diaphragms and caps, and contraceptive sponges fall in this group and prevent sperm from reaching egg cells. Barrier methods are widely used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and chlamydia and are safe for women who have health conditions such as hypertension, heart clots, and diabetes.

This form of contraception is also less expensive than intrauterine and hormonal methods and, unlike other types of birth control, is only used when intercourse takes place. Effectiveness depends on the choice of method and whether it is used correctly.

Caps, diaphragms, and male condoms are similarly effective in preventing unintended pregnancies but depends on correct use. All methods are widely available, have no side effects, do not interfere with women’s hormones, and some can be purchased without a prescription.

Intrauterine Methods of Birth Control

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a device that is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. The two main types are copper T IUD, which has a T shape, and hormonal intrauterine contraception, which releases low levels of progestin daily.

This form of birth control also has advantages — it is convenient, safe to use while breastfeeding, and lasts up to 10 years. An added benefit is that for some it can lead to less painful and lighter regular periods. Both types are 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

Hormonal Methods of Birth Control

This group includes a wide variety of contraceptives, including skin patches, progestin-only and combination birth control pills, and implants. Birth control pills are commonly used as they are effective, make periods regular, and help prevent conditions such as iron deficiency, uterine infection, and endometrial cancer.

With correct use, fewer than 1 in 100 women of reproductive age will get pregnant over a one-year period. With typical use, however, that number jumps to 9 in 100 women each year! Fortunately, with smart technology, contraceptive pills can be a highly effective form of birth control...

Introducing The Emme Smart Birth Control System

The Emme Smart Case is a device that automatically tracks when birth control pills are taken, and it syncs with the Emme app to send custom reminders until the pill is taken. The Emme Pill & Health Tracker app also supports tracking for flow, body, sex, and mood, and provides information based on CDC guidelines to offer support in the case of missed pills. Not only is the smart case automatic, portable, and wireless, but it is compatible with more than 100 brands of birth control pills, and the Emme app (free on iOS and Android) works as a smart assistant to ensure the pill works as intended. Add EmmeRx telemedicine and pill delivery to the mix and you've got the only complete system for getting, taking and tracking the pill.

The result? Fewer missed pills, better health, and greater peace of mind.

Overall, birth control methods vary in effectiveness and the choice is personal, often depending on individual circumstances, health status, and preferences. If you decide the pill is right for you, pairing it with the Emme Smart Case can help make the pill work the way it was intended.