Women’s Contraception Reports

Two new reports released by the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) give insight into the use and methods of contraception among women aged 15-44.

The first report, Use of Emergency Contraception Among Women Aged 15-44: United States, 2006-2010, focused on trends and variation in the use of emergency contraception and reasons for use among sexually experienced women. The data from the report found that young adult women aged 20-24, who were never married, Hispanic or or non-Hispanic white women that attended college were most likely to have ever used emergency contraception; about one in four had done so.

Some other key findings from the study include:

  • Most women who had ever used emergency contraception had done so one (59%) or twice (23%).
  • Almost 1 in 5 never-married women (19%), 1 in 7 cohabiting women (14%), and 1 in 20 currently or formerly married women (5.7%)  had ever used emergency contraception.
  • About one in two women reported using emergency contraception because of fear of method failure (45%), and about one in two reported use because they unprotected sex (49%).

Chart of the percentage of sexually experienced women using emergency contraception.

The second report, Contraceptive Methods Women Have Ever Used: United States, 1982-2010, highlighted the number of contraceptive methods women have used since 1982 and reasons for stopping use.  The report also followed trends among race, education, and religious affiliations.

Key findings from the report:

  • The percentage of sexually-experienced females who have used the pill has remained stable since 1995 (82%).
  • The percentage who’ve ever used Depo-Provera, a 3-month injectable contraceptive has increased from 4.5% of women in 1995 to 23% in 2006-2010.
  •  Ever-use of the contraceptive patch increased from about 1% in 2002 to 10% in 2006-2010.  The contraceptive ring had been used by 6.3% of women in 2006-2010.

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