Birth control pills are 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, research shows — but only if you remember to take them as prescribed. Rod-shaped implants, T-shaped IUDs and vaginal rings are other options. BSIP/Science Source hide caption

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Bayer HealthCare, of Whippany, N.J., brought Essure to market in 2002 as a nonsurgical alternative for women seeking sterilization. Bayer acknowledges the device can lead to complications, but says they are rare. Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

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When health care providers have the latest information on various birth control methods, research suggests, more of their patients who use birth control choose a long-acting reversible method, like the IUD. iStockphoto hide caption

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An interauterine device provides long-term birth control. iStockphoto hide caption

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Pope Francis holds a Virgin Mary statue as he arrives at the Mall of Asia arena in Manila, Philippines, on Friday. The pontiff has issued a strong statement supporting the church's teachings on artificial contraception. Alessandra Tarantino/AP hide caption

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Better than Egyptian cotton: This electrically spun fabric contains anti-HIV drugs and dissolves rapidly when it gets wet. Courtesy of University of Washington hide caption

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