Doubling Up on Contraceptives (Hint: Use More than One)
The Math on Why You Should Use More Than One Method of BC
As abortion access in the South becomes increasingly difficult, the ultimate goal becomes avoiding the need for an abortion in the first place. Therefore, I highly encourage you to double up and use two forms of legitimate birth control, for the obvious reason that the chances of both forms failing are far lower than just one form failing.
While it may seem like overkill, I urge you to remember that “typical” use of both condoms and birth control leads to only 85% and 91% efficacies, respectively. In states where it is almost impossible to get an abortion, I urge you not to rely on 85% odds unless you are truly comfortable with the idea of carrying a child to term.
If we do the math, the chance of failure when using both condoms and the pill “typically” comes out to .15 x .09 = .014, meaning an efficacy rate of 98.6%. That means that a couple who makes a few mistakes—like missing a few birth control pills or using an expired condom—is still extremely well protected. Even combining generally unrecommended forms of contraception is better than using just one. For instance, “pulling out” (typical fail rate of 22%) combined with the pill (typical fail rate of 9%) leads to an efficacy rate of 98%, since .22 x .09 = .0198. In general, it’s best practice to combine all the tools at your disposal for the sake of your own comfort; doubling up reduces the amount of stress you have about getting pregnant, even if you aren’t perfect with your birth control.