We’ve announced our best contraceptives – as rated by you!

by The Lowdown · May 1, 2023

Welcome to the contraception Oscars! Thanks to everyone who has shared their review on our contraception review platform. We’ve now collected almost 6,000 reviews and have enough data to nominate the best contraceptives in most categories. So, without further ado, here are the highest rated contraceptives at The Lowdown.

FAM is the highest-rated contraceptive

The Fertility Awareness Method is the winner of the ‘Best contraceptive’ award, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.4 out of 5, just beating the runner up – the Hormonal coil! We have worked out this ranking by taking all contraceptive methods with over 100 reviews on our site and comparing their scores.

Fertility Awareness or Natural Family Planning is an umbrella term for methods which help you work out your fertile days (or fertile window). You then need to avoid sex or use condoms during that time to prevent pregnancy. iYou have to be pretty disciplined and proactive, tracking indicators such as waking temperature, cervical fluid and cycle length in order to identify your fertile days. This umbrella method includes digital contraceptive apps like Natural Cycles, and DIY methods like the symptothermal method which if used perfectly can be up to 98 to 99% effective.

We’ve read your reviews, and it seems like many of you are enjoying the process of learning about your body and being in tune with your hormones.However, the negative reviews usually mention the Fertility Awareness Method being unreliable in predicting ovulation day, resulting in an unplanned pregnancy. 

The most notable stat from our review data, is that 49% of you reported a very positive effect on your mood, and 51% of you reported an increase in sex drive, which, between us, is quite uncommon for a contraceptive method nowadays. 

The best contraceptive in each category goes to…

Eloine is the highest-rated combined pill 

Eloine, one of the newest types of pills around the block, has already earned the title of ‘Best-combined pill’. This method is around 91 to 99+% effective and comes in a pack of 28 tablets, four of which are placebo pills. This pill contains a low dose of oestrogen and a progestogen called drospirenone, which could help with mood swings and acne. Our reviews support this; 84% of you say it improved your skin.

Some of the most commonly reported side effects include period-like cramps (54%), tender breasts (54%), vaginal dryness (46%), breast enlargement (42%) and discharge (38%).

Here’s what The Lowdown community has to say about the effects of Eloine on mood, bleeds, sex drive, weight, skin and cycle return:

The Mirena coil is the highest-rated hormonal coil

The Mirena coil wins ‘Best hormonal coil’, with a rating of 3.5 out of 5, and we are not surprised; it’s always been our fave out of the five hormonal coil brands we have on The Lowdown. This method works by releasing a low amount of progestogen into your womb. This coil is over 99% effective and can last up to 6 years.

One of the main reasons why it might be rated so highly is because of the few side effects associated with it.  Plus many users experience up to 90% lighter bleeds or even no period at all after it’s been fitted. Last but definitely not least, the Mirena coil doesn’t seem to impact women’s moods or sex drive as much as other methods, such as the contraceptive pill, implant or the injection. 

Our reviews indicate that the Mirena coil has also eased the symptoms of disorders such as endometriosis and PCOS, which might explain why healthcare professionals also love this one. 

Some of the most common side effects of the Mirena coil include period-like cramps (62%), vaginal discharge (45%), tender breasts (45%) and lower back pain (30%).

Here’s what The Lowdown community has to say:

Cerelle is the highest-rated mini pill

Cerelle takes the cake of ‘Best progestogen-only pill’; with a rating of 2.8/5 overall, beating its peers Cerazette and Desogestrel which contain exactly the same hormones, but also the older traditional mini pills like Norgeston and Noriday. This pill is around 91 to 99+% effective and works by ingesting a pill containing desogestrel every day. 

Some of the most common side effects of the Cerelle pill include tender breasts (53%), vaginal discharge (50%), period-like cramps (49%), breast enlargement (43%) and lower back pain (42%). 

Here’s The Lowdown:

The Depo-Provera is the highest-rated injection

The Depo-Provera beats the Sayana Press and wins ‘Best injection’ with a score of 3 out of 5, even though they have the same ingredient (medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA). The main difference between the two is that Depo-Provera has to be administered by a healthcare professional into the muscle as opposed to the Sayana Press, which can be injected at home. Depo-Provera is around 96-99+% effective, and it works by injecting a high dose of progestogen, which stays in your system for three months. 

Here’s how it stacks up: 

The Evra patch is the highest-rated hormonal patch

The only brand of patch available currently is the Evra patch, so it’s a straightforward win for the title of ‘Best patch’, which has a score of 3.5 out of 5. This method is around 91 to 99+% effective. The Evra is a combined hormonal contraceptive and works by applying a thin beige plaster to the skin that needs to be changed weekly. 

Some of the most common side effects of the Evra patch include breast enlargement (49%), tender breasts (46%), period-like cramps (43%), vaginal discharge (41%) and nausea or vomiting (35%).

However, we currently don’t have enough reviews for this method! So if you’re currently using the Evra or have used it before, leave a review here!

Nexplanon is the highest-rated implant

Once again, the only implant we have on our site, the Nexplanon is currently rated at 3 out of 5 and the winner of ‘Best implant’. This method is over 99% effective and works by having a small plastic rod inserted in your upper arm by a nurse or doctor. The implant then releases progestogen into your bloodstream slowly over 3 years.

Many women experience changes to their period while on Nexplanon, which can result in a lighter orheavier bleeding or your periods stopping altogether. Some other common side effects reported by The Lowdown community are tender breasts (54%), vaginal discharge (44%), period-like cramps (42%), vaginal dryness (40%) and breast enlargement (37%).

The symptothermal method is the highest-rated fertility awareness method

Symptothermal beats Natural Cycles as the best fertility awareness method with a banging score of 5 out of 5; however, it currently only has very few reviews. This method is up to 99% effective if used perfectly. You learn to  track your fertile days by observing indicators such as waking temperature, cycle length, cervical fluid and other biological signs to determine ovulation and your fertile window. You then need to avoid sex or use condoms during this time. 

If you currently use or have used the Symptothermal method in the past, help us gather more data by leaving a review here!

HANX is the highest-rated male condom

Hanx, the natural and organic condom, beats other condom brands and wins the ‘Best condom’ award with a score of 5 out of 5, but we currently only have a handful of reviews; therefore, if you’re using HANX or any other condom as a form of contraception, review it here!

Ezinelle is the winner of best morning-after pill

The winner of “Best morning-after pill” is currently Ezinelle. However, we also need more reviews on the morning-after pill, so if you’d like to share your experience, leave a review here.