Contraceptive compliance is a multifaceted issue that is influenced by many factors. These factors can directly affect the level of patient compliance, thereby affecting contraceptive method efficacy rates. A review of the literature reveals many studies about contraceptive compliance but a dearth of studies addressing how to change noncompliant behaviors. This article describes the contraceptive methods currently available and their efficacy rates. Patient characteristics and the components of compliance are described as they affect contraceptive efficacy and patient care. Suggestions are made for the use of alternative terminology to include adherence to or continuance of a contraceptive method. Health care providers should realize the impact they can have on a patient's education, decision-making process, and ultimate compliance with a contraceptive method. It is the patient, however, who ultimately makes the decision, either actively or passively, to comply or not and whether to have an unplanned pregnancy.