Current Contraceptive Use and Variation by Selected Characteristics Among Women Aged 15–44: United States, 2011–2013

November 10, 2015

A new NCHS report describes current contraceptive use among women of childbearing age (ages 15–44) during 2011–2013. Current contraceptive use is defined as use during the month of interview, not for a specific act of sexual intercourse.

This report’s primary focus is describing patterns of contraceptive use among women who are currently using contraception, by social and demographic characteristics. Data from 2002 and 2006–2010 are presented for comparison.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Among women currently using contraception, the most commonly used methods were the pill (25.9%, or 9.7 million women), female sterilization (25.1%, or 9.4 million women), the male condom (15.3%, or 5.8 million women), and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)—intrauterine devices or contraceptive implants (11.6%, or 4.4 million women).
  • Differences in method use were seen across social and demographic characteristics. Comparisons between time points reveal some differences, such as higher use of LARC in 2011–2013 compared with earlier time points.

Trends in Long-acting Reversible Contraception Use Among U.S. Women Aged 15–44

February 24, 2015

Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), which include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and subdermal hormonal implants, are gaining popularity due to their high efficacy in preventing unintended pregnancies. IUD use was more common among U.S. women in the 1970s before concerns over safety led to a decline in use; however, since approval of a 5-year contraceptive implant in 1990 and redesigned IUDs, there has been growing interest in the use of LARCs for unintended pregnancy prevention.

Using data from the 1982, 1988, 1995, 2002, 2006–2010, and 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth, a new NCHS report examines trends in current LARC use among women aged 15–44 and describes patterns of use by age, race and Hispanic origin, and parity.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Use of LARCs declined between 1982 and 1988, remained stable through 2002, and then increased nearly five-fold in the last decade among women aged 15–44, from 1.5% in 2002 to 7.2% in 2011–2013.
  • The percentage of women using LARCs has remained highest among women aged 25–34, with more than twice as many women aged 25–34 (11.1%) using LARCs in 2011–2013 compared with women aged 15–24 (5.0%) and aged 35–44 (5.3%).
  • After decreasing between 1982 and 1988 and remaining stable from 1988 through 1995, LARC-use patterns diverged among Hispanic, non-Hispanic white, and non-Hispanic black women.
  • Women who have had at least one birth use LARCs at a higher rate compared with women who have had no previous births, and this difference has increased over time.

Current Contraceptive Status Among Women Aged 15–44: United States, 2011–2013

December 15, 2014

Nearly all women use contraception at some point in their lifetimes, although at any given time they may not be using contraception for reasons such as seeking pregnancy, being pregnant, or not being sexually active. Using data from the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth on contraceptive use in the month of the interview, a new NCHS report provides a snapshot of current contraceptive status among women aged 15–44 in the United States.

In addition to describing use of any method by age, Hispanic origin and race, and educational attainment, patterns of use are described for the four most commonly used contraceptive methods: the oral contraceptive pill, female sterilization, the male condom, and long-acting reversible contraceptives, which include contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2011–2013, 61.7% of the 60.9 million women aged 15–44 in the United States were currently using contraception. The most common contraceptive methods currently being used were the pill (16.0%), female sterilization (15.5%), male condoms (9.4%), and long-acting reversible contraceptives (7.2%).
  • Use of long-acting reversible contraceptives was higher among women aged 25–34 (11.1%) compared with women aged 15–24 (5.0%) and aged 35–44 (5.3%).
  • Current condom use was similar across the three Hispanic origin and race groups shown in this report (about 9%).
  • Current use of female sterilization declined, and use of the pill increased with greater educational attainment. Use of long-acting reversible contraceptives was similar across education, about 8%–10%.

 


Women’s Contraception Reports

February 14, 2013

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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