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Most and Least Effective Birth Control Methods in the Philippines

Medically reviewed by Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Honey Buenaventura · Updated Apr 17

Most and Least Effective Birth Control Methods in the Philippines

With a current population count of 112,641,844 people, as of July 2022, according to Worldomater, the Philippines currently ranks at number 13 when it comes to overall population worldwide.

In the third quarter of 2021, the Social Weather Survey conducted a survey to check how many Filipino families considered themselves as “poor.” And 45% considered themselves as such with about 34% feeling borderline poor. This number is slightly better compared to 23.7% of Filipinos who lived below the poverty threshold in the first semester of 2021, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Due to growing population and poverty levels, many are advocating for comprehensive reproductive health law and for educating the masses about the most and least effective birth control methods in the Philippines. Many families in the poorer sector tend to have more children than those who are above the wealth spectrum. 

Effective birth control methods 

There are several types of birth control available in the Philippines. Some of them are given away for free at different health centers in each local government. There are also free seminars conducted by both the government and NGOs, which people can attend. Here, they can learn about the most and least effective birth control methods in the Philippines

Learn more about effective birth control here, arranged from most effective to least effective.


IUD, which stands for “intrauterine device,” provides long-term protection from pregnancy. This effective birth control works the same way as a birth control shot.It is more than 99% effective when used correctly. 

There are two types of IUD:

  • Copper IUD – Which we currently use in the country. It’s T- rod in shape and releases copper which prevents sperm from fertilizing with the egg cell. This is effective for 12 years.
  • Hormone-releasing IUD –  It causes the thickening of the mucus in the cervix to prevent fertilization, and it causes the thinning out of the lining of the uterus and partially suppresses ovulation. It’s effective for about 5 years. 
  • The reasons why IUDs may fail are: 

    • The IUD slipped and is no longer in place. 
    • Has not started working. 
    • The IUD has been in place for too long. Different IUDs are required to be replaced every so often. Consult your doctor.

    Birth control implants 

    The birth control implant is a flexible plastic rod the size of a matchstick that is placed under the skin of the upper arm of a woman. This type of effective birth control releases a steady dose of progestational hormone to thicken the cervical mucus and thin out the lining of the uterus. This implant is a method of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC.) 

    The implant is more than 99% effective. It lasts for 3 years. The implant should be placed within the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle to ensure immediate protection. If it is fitted on any other day, you will need to use additional protection for at least 7 days. 

    The only time that you can get pregnant is when you have the birth control implants removed.

    Depo-provera or birth control shot 

    Depo-provera, also referred to as the “birth control shot,” is an injectable that contains progestin. This is a natural hormone that prevents pregnancy by stopping your ovulation. The progestin thickens the cervical mucus, so that the sperm cells can not reach the egg cell. It also thins out the uterine lining, so that a fertilized egg can not attach itself to your uterus. 

    Depo-provera is almost 100% effective, and ranks high on the list of the most and least effective birth control methods in the Philippines.

    The reasons that Depo-provera may fail are: 

    • Failure to get the next dosage within the right time frame. Consult your doctor regarding this. 
    • Incorrect administration. Always have your doctor administer the birth control shot. 

    Contraceptive patch

    A contraceptive patch is a patch that is placed on the skin. It releases progestin, which enters the bloodstream through the skin. This stops the ovaries from releasing egg cells, so fertilization cannot occur. 

    The patch is good for a week, and you need to change the patch every week for 3 weeks. On the 4th week, you can go without it. When used correctly, the patch works 99% of the time. 

    Potential reasons for the contraceptive patch to fail are: 

    • The patch falls off. 
    • Forgetting to change patches.


    Birth control pills are medicines with hormones, and are considered safe and effective birth control. It comes in a pack, and you typically take one pill a day for 21 days straight, and then skip for a week. It is affordable, safe, and available over the counter in the Philippines. As long as you take your pill on time, it is effective. 

    The birth control pill stops the sperm from uniting with the egg cell. What happens is the hormones in the pill stop ovulation, so there is no egg cell that is being released. The pill also thickens the mucus in the cervix, so the sperm cell cannot reach the egg cell. 

    The pill is 99.7% effective, according to the Center for Disease Control, with perfect use. With typical use, it is 91% effective.

    However, pregnancy may still occur in some women, because of the following reasons: 

    • Forgetting to drink one pill. 
    • Losing your pack and starting over on the wrong date.  
    • Throwing up or having diarrhea within an hour of ingestion. 


    A condom is a thin rubber sheath that a male puts on his penis before having oral, vaginal, or anal sex. This is a type of effective birth control that reduces the chances of pregnancy, as well as reduces the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. With proper usage, condoms are effective 98% of the time when it comes to preventing pregnancy. It is also almost 100% effective when it comes to preventing HIV.

    A condom will not be effective due to the following reasons: 

    • It is expired. 
    • It gets left inside the vagina after ejaculation. 
    • Is used incorrectly and a hole is made in the condom before it is inserted. 
    • It was not stored at the right temperature, which may lead to condom damage and possible tearing. 
    • The condom is too small or too big.

    Fertility awareness method 

    The fertility awareness method is a form of natural birth control that women use to prevent pregnancy. This method involves no cost and no device. You just need to keep track of your fertility and menstrual cycle. 

    The fertility awareness method includes the basal body temperature method, calendar method, and the cervical mucus method. These methods are 76%-88% effective

    There are a lot of reasons for the fertility awareness method to fail: 

    • You forget to track your monthly cycle. 
    • Had unprotected sex on your unsafe days.
    • You have an irregular menstrual cycle.


    After understanding most and least effective birth control methods in the Philippines, it is important to make an informed choice. Choosing the right birth control method matters in ensuring that you are able to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

    Remember, birth control methods only protect from unwanted pregnancies, but do not prevent the contraction of all STDs.  

    Learn more about Sexual Wellness here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS

    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Written by Honey Buenaventura · Updated Apr 17

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