None of the currently available methods of contraception is free from drawbacks. Both short-term side effects and long-term hazards to health are associated with hormonal contraceptives and intrauterine devices, while the barrier methods and behavioural techniques are difficult to use and often only partially effective. Sterilization and abortion both entail surgical risks and, especially in the case of abortion, are the subject of considerable controversy because of ethical and religious objections to their use. Thus, while the revolution in family planning technology has made current family planning programmes possible, today's technology continues to be deficient in ways that lead to unwanted pregnancies, high discontinuation-of-use rates, and exposure to health hazards among people who seek to limit their fertility. Improvements in contraceptive technology remains a major goal of population research efforts.
In the USA no new types of contraceptives have appeared for 30 years because of punitive lawsuits against the manufacturers of new products. It is estimated that half of the 1.5 million abortions there result from contraceptive failure.