Women tend to think that birth control pills and condoms are more effective than they actually are, say the authors of a new study. What's more, when women learn about the full range of options of available, they're far more likely to choose an IUD or a contraceptive implant, reports Reuters. The reason? The latter two methods have a pregnancy rate of well under 1% a year. For condoms and the pill, not so much.
Factoring in "typical use"—meaning forgetfulness and other mistakes—the pregnancy rate for women on the pill is about 9%, according to the study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It's about twice that for those who rely on condoms. "We need to do a better job of educating the public—women and men—on the failure rates with typical use," says the lead researcher. If prices come down and health insurers cooperate, he thinks IUDs and implants should become the "default" choices for women. (Read more contraceptive stories.)