OK, stats can be great – I like them. But sometimes they can be very unuseful. My mum was told today that she has an 8.5% chance of coronary heart disease, whilst my dad has a 22% chance… is that in their lifetime? Or this year? Or today?!
And that got me thinking about another such stat that confuses me… It’s stuff to do with contraception. (And I guess I prolly need to know this since I’ll be teaching some sex ed at school to poor 11-year-old year 7s) When a contraceptive is measured for effectiveness, e.g. 99% what does that mean? Does it mean that 99% of people NEVER get pregnant when using it? Or does it mean 99% of the time you won’t, meaning that on in every 100 sexual interludes (heh, I made that name up) would result in pregnancy with some methods (pill, coil etc). Or is it 99% of people won’t get pregnant in a year of using it… surely that depends on how many “interludes” they partake in?
I mean 99% sounds good, but it’s so subjective. On the other hand, my mum also has over-average lung size (a.k.a. a good set of pipes) and good bone density (she’s rock ‘ard!), so that’s nice 🙂
Love you Mum & Dad x
Update: I just found this which says, of the combined pill:
“This pill is 99% effective… This means that 1 in every 100 women who use [it] will get pregnant each year.”
So if I make a conservative estimate that there are 1 million sexually active women in the UK, that there are 10,000 unexpected pregnancies each year in the country?Â Or if you use it for 10 years, does that mean there’s a 1 in 10 chance of getting pregnant in that time?
That’s not what I expected…