Contraception

Today, women can select from a number of contraception methods, so after gathering sufficient information it is expedient to opt for the method that best suits their individual needs. Obviously one of the most important criteria is the degree of safety whereby an unintended pregnancy can be prevented (safety of contraception or effectiveness of the method). The following is some background information to assist you in assessing the efficiency of MelbeaGold IUDs compared to other methods of contraception.

The so-called Pearl Index (PI) is frequently used for comparing the safety of various methods of contraception. This figure represents the number of women who got pregnant out of 100 women using the given method for a year. The lower is the Pearl Index, the higher is the safety of the contraceptive. Scientific surveys make a distinction between determining the Pearl Index under the conditions of a strictly controlled clinical survey (in case of so-called “perfect use”), or with normal users in everyday life. The table below summarizes the Pearl Indices of the main methods in case of perfect and typical use.

Method of contraception Typical use Perfect use
Sterilization (male) <0,15 0,1
Sterilization (female) 0,5 0,5
Hormonal birth control implant 0,5 0,5
Intrauterine device 0,5-0,8 0,2-0,6
Hormonal contraceptive pill 8,0 0,3
Hormone injection 3,0 0,3
Hormonal birth control patch 8,0 0,3
Hormonal vaginal ring 8,0 0,3
Condom 15,0-21,0 2,0-5,0
No contraception 85,0 85,0

Pearl Index (PI) of the main methods of contraception in the first year of use: The number of women who got pregnant out of 100 women using the given method for a year. (Source: Trussell, J. (2007). Contraceptive Efficacy, in: Hatcher, R.A. et al. Edit., Contraceptive Technology: Nineteenth Revised Edition, Ardent Media, New York).

For methods where users are required to demonstrate a certain conduct to be safe – such as contraceptive pills to be taken accurately on a daily basis – the Pearl Index is usually higher for typical use than for clinical testing. The reason for this is that everyday application is rarely so perfect as it is in the course of supervised clinical testing; as a consequence, a higher number of unintended pregnancies occur. On the contrary, for methods which do not require users to demonstrate a certain conduct – such as intrauterine contraception – the Pearl Index for typical use corresponds to the figure yielded for perfect application most of the time.

For you as a user, the Pearl Index for typical use is of key importance. As shown by the table as well, the safety of intrauterine contraception takes considerable precedence over the pill and most other methods of contraception. The categorization of the American Medical Association also shows the same, classifying intrauterine contraception – together with sterilization – into the ‘most effective’ group, while contraceptive pills and most other hormonal methods are classified as ‘very effective’ only. The Pearl Index yielded for MelbeaGold IUDs in clinical testing was between 0.5 and 1.0. This means that Melbea Gold IUDs are among the safest contraception methods possible.

A comparison of contraceptive methods

Selection of a contraceptive method requires thorough consideration of benefits and drawbacks, taking the given personal situation into account. Leave sufficient time for yourself to decide, and discuss all important aspects with your physician. The properties of the major methods of contraception have been collected for you as background information. In addition to sterilization, there are basically two methods to be distinguished: hormonal and non-hormonal methods.