Good to know
Learn all about contraception, reproductive health & sex. Our glossary explains all terms understandably and neutrally — from A to Z.
- Pearl Index
The Pearl Index assesses the safety of a contraceptive. The smaller the Pearl index, the safer the contraceptive method.
However, a distinction between the theoretical and the practical Pearl index is important:
The theoretical Pearl Index assumes that the method has been used perfectly and without errors.
The practical Pearl Index assesses how well the contraceptive method performs in everyday use. Application errors are included.
Example for the calculation of the theoretical Pearl Index: If 100 women* use the same contraceptive for one year and three pregnancies occur during this period, the Pearl Index is 3 for the contraceptive used.