Chart of the Day: Birth control efficacy

So, a few disclaimers. Huff Po put together an infographic on women’s birth control use and misconceptions about various methods’ efficacy based on new data from the American College of Nurse-Midwives. There are some problems here. I don’t like that the focus is solely on women because not all people who can get pregnant are women and the partners of those who can should also shoulder the burden of navigating BC options. I’m also not wild about the “What Women Say” vs. “What Science Says” set-up (Silly Moon Goddess of the Earth vs. Facts), which obscures the project’s central critique: our education and health care systems fail to inform people of their best options.

Buuuuuuut. With all that being said, the systemic failure is still apparent and — product of this systemic failure of sex ed that I am — I learned a bit about birth control. You can check out the original post here.

Birth control infographics

New Haven, CT

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX, a national legal education campaign against campus gender-based violence. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NPR. Through Know Your IX, she has organized with students across the country to build campuses free from discrimination and violence, developed federal policy on Title IX enforcement, and has testified at the Senate. At Yale Law, Alexandra focuses on antidiscrimination law and is a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. Alexandra is committed to developing and strengthening responses to gender-based violence outside the criminal justice system through writing, organizing, and the law. Keep an eye out for The Feminist Utopia Project, co-edited by Alexandra and forthcoming from the Feminist Press (2015).

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX.

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  • Bex

    It bothers me a lot that we think we can decide for a woman what her “best options” are by looking at statistics like these. Just because most of the women who use Fertility Awareness Methods don’t do it perfectly doesn’t mean that I can’t, or won’t, or that it is automatically not the best option for me. And I’m fucking sick of doctors and nurses giving me side-eye every time I tell them that I’m not on the pill.

    Hormonal birth control is expensive, made me feel like a walking bag of raving ass while I was on it, and was harder for me to use perfectly than FAM. I’ve been using FAM for more than five years now without any trouble. Perhaps the problems with non-hormonal methods is also due to a lack of education???

  • Nina

    @ Bex,

    I 100% agree with you. The Pill made me feel INSANE and it wasn’t really after going off it (after being on for a decade) that I realize the negative impact it had on me.

    I think part of the problem too is that these articles lump all contexts into one. Would I recommend FAM to my 17 year old niece or daughter? No, I wouldn’t, but that doesn’t make it a less viable option for me (or you, or any other woman).

    There seems to be A LOT of resistance on this site to any other kind of birth control that ISN’T hormonal, and I really wonder why that is. It seems really counter to everything we are trying to accomplish.