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actual failure rate
Definitiondue to improper use or non-use. The theoretical failure rate for condoms is +/- 5% whereas its actual failure rate is +/- 15%. The theoretical failure rate of an oral contraceptive may be 0.5% but its actual failure rate will be much higher because of manufacturing defects in the pill itself or because the woman failed to take it every day.
Synonym: actual effectiveness rate.
See also: theoretical effectiveness or failure rate.
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