Condom Use During Sexual Intercourse Among Women and Men Aged 15-44 in the United States: 2011-2015 National Survey of Family Growth

August 10, 2017

Questions for Casey Copen, Ph.D., M.P.H., Statistician and Author of “Condom use during sexual intercourse among women and men aged 15-44 in the United States: 2011-2015 National Survey of Family Growth

Q: Why did you decide to examine condom use in this report?

CC: There are about 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the United States each year. These infections can lead to long-term health consequences, such as infertility. Condoms can provide protection against most STIs but are often used incorrectly and inconsistently. Similarly, condoms can reduce the risk of pregnancy but have one of the highest rates of contraceptive failure of any contraceptive method.

The purpose of this report was to examine recent trends in condom use during vaginal (sexual) intercourse and measure the prevalence of condom use, alone or in combination with another contraceptive method. This information can be used to plan health services and educational programs in the U.S.


Q: Has the data in this report been previously published?

CC: Data on condom use has been collected for women since 1973 and for men, since 2002. Starting in 2013, questions on problems with condom use were asked of women aged 15-44 who used a condom during intercourse in the past 4 weeks. Periodically, the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) publishes reports on current contraceptive use, which includes condoms, to measure how contraceptive use among women has changed over time.

Last month, NSFG released a report on contraceptive use among female and male teens aged 15-19 that included information on condom use at first and most recent intercourse (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr104.pdf). However, the data on condom use problems have not been previously published.


Q: What do you think were the main findings of your report?

CC: In 2011-2015, 23.8% of women and 33.7% of men aged 15–44 used a condom at last sexual intercourse in the past 12 months. Among condom users aged 15-44, the majority of women and men used only a condom and no other method during last intercourse in the past 12 months (59.9% of women and 56.4% of men); another 25.0% of women and 33.2% of men used condoms plus hormonal methods; and 15.1% of women and 10.5% of men used condoms plus non-hormonal methods. Almost 7% of women aged 15–44 who used a condom in the past four weeks said the condom broke or completely fell off during intercourse or withdrawal and 25.8% said the condom was used for only part of the time during intercourse.


Q: How has the percentage of condom use in the U.S. during sexual intercourse changed since 2002?

CC: The percentages of women aged 15-44 who used condoms at last sexual intercourse in the past 12 months were similar from 2002 to 2011-2015, but for men aged 15–44, the percentages increased from 29.5% in 2002 to 33.7% in 2011–2015. Percentages of female and male condom users aged 15–44 who used condoms only at last intercourse in the past 12 months decreased from 67.9% of women and 63.0% of men in 2002 to 59.9% and 56.4% in 2011-2015. Alongside this decline, percentages of female condom users aged 15–44 who used condoms plus non-hormonal methods at last intercourse increased from 11.9% in 2006–2010 to 15.1% in 2011–2015.


Q: What is the take-home message of your report?

CC: This report showed that the majority of women and men aged 15-44 in each NSFG survey period did not use a condom at all during last sexual intercourse. It is important to note that there are many factors associated with condom nonuse, such as being in a monogamous relationship, using hormonal or other methods to prevent pregnancy or trying to get pregnant. Although this report could not address each of these factors directly, these findings indicate there are differences in condom use by age, education, Hispanic origin and race, relationship at last sexual intercourse and number of sexual partners in the past 12 months. About one-quarter of women aged 15-44 who used a condom during intercourse in the past 4 weeks reported that the condom was used for only part of the time during intercourse (25.8%), suggesting that condoms are often used inconsistently.

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Confidentiality Concerns and Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Among Adolescents and Young Adults Aged 15–25

December 16, 2016

Confidentiality concerns can impact adolescent and young adults’ access to sexual and reproductive health services. Young people who are covered by their parents’ private health insurance may be deterred from obtaining these services due to concerns that their parents might find out about it.  Similarly, confidentiality concerns may arise because youth seeking such services may not have time alone during a visit with a health care provider.

A new NCHS report describes two measures related to confidentiality concerns and sexual and reproductive health care.

Findings:

  • About 7% of persons aged 15–25 would not seek sexual or reproductive health care because of concerns that their parents might find out about it.
  • For females aged 15–17 and 18–25, those who had confidentiality concerns were less likely to receive sexual and reproductive health services in the past year compared with those without these concerns.
  • Less than one-half of teenagers aged 15–17 (38.1%) spent some time alone in the past year during a visit with a doctor or other health care provider without a parent, relative, or guardian in the room.
  • Teenagers aged 15–17 who spent some time alone during a visit with a health care provider were more likely to have received sexual or reproductive health services in the past year compared with those who had not.

 

 


Trends in Attitudes About Marriage, Childbearing, and Sexual Behavior: United States

March 17, 2016

An NCHS report describes attitudes about marriage, childbearing, and sexual behavior among men and women aged 15–44 in the United States based on the 2002, 2006–2010, and 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth.

Findings:

  • An increase in the percentage of men and women who agreed with premarital cohabitation.
  • An increase in the percentage of men and women who agreed with nonmarital childbearing.
  • An increase in the percentage of men and women who agreed with the right for gay and lesbian adults to adopt children.
  • An increase in the percentage of men and women who agreed with the right for same-sex sexual relations, as well as premarital sex for 18 year olds.
  • A decrease in the percentage who agreed with divorce.
  • No change from 2006-2010 to 2011-2013 in attitudes regarding marriage, cohabitation and the risk of divorce.
  • No change in attitudes about the necessity of having children for one’s happiness.
  • No change in attitudes about raising children in a cohabiting union.
  • No change in attitudes about premarital sex for 16 year olds.

Smoking Prevalence and Cessation Before and During Pregnancy

February 10, 2016

Smoking_Pregnancy

A new NCHS report presents findings on maternal smoking prevalence and cessation before and during pregnancy as collected on the 2003 U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth, for a 46-state and District of Columbia reporting area, representing 95% of all births in the United States.

Findings:

  • About 1 in 10 women who gave birth in 2014 smoked during the 3 months before pregnancy (10.9%), and about one-quarter of these women (24.2%) did not smoke during pregnancy (i.e., quit before pregnancy).
  • The smoking rate at any time during pregnancy was 8.4%, with 20.6% of women who smoked in the first or second trimesters quitting by the third trimester.
  • Smoking during pregnancy was more prevalent for women aged 20–24 (13.0%) than for other ages, and by race and Hispanic origin, the highest rate was for non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native women (18%).

Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction, and Sexual Orientation Among Adults Aged 18–44 in the United States

January 12, 2016

An NCHS report provides national estimates of sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual orientation among women and men aged 18–44 in the United States, based on the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth.

Findings:

  • Regarding opposite-sex sexual behavior, 94.2% of women and 92% of men aged 18–44 had ever had vaginal intercourse.
  • 86.2% of women and 87.4% of men had ever had oral sex; and 35.9% of women and 42.3% of men had ever had
    anal sex.
  • Almost three times as many women (17.4%) reported any same-sex contact in their lifetime compared with men (6.2%) aged 18–44.
  • Feelings of attraction “only to the opposite sex” were more common for men (92.1%) compared with women
    (81%) aged 18–44. Among those aged 18–44, 92.3% of women and 95.1% of men said they were “heterosexual or straight”; 1.3% of women and 1.9% of men said they were “homosexual, gay, or lesbian”; 5.5% of women and 2.0% of men said they were bisexual; and 0.9% of women and 1% of men said “don’t know” or “refused” (i.e., “did not report”) on sexual orientation.
  • Sexual attraction and sexual orientation correlate closely but not completely with reports of sexual behavior. Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual orientation vary by age, marital or cohabiting status, education, and race and Hispanic origin.

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.

Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing of Teenagers Aged 15–19 in the United States

July 22, 2015

Monitoring sexual activity and contraceptive use among U.S. adolescents is important for understanding differences in their risk of pregnancy. In 2013, the U.S. birth rate for teenagers aged 15–19 dropped 57% from its peak in 1991, paralleling a decline in the teen pregnancy rate. But these rates are still higher than those in other developed countries.

Using data from the 1988 to 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth, this report provides trends and recent national estimates of sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing among teenagers aged 15–19.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2011–2013, 44% of female teenagers and 47% of male teenagers aged 15–19 had experienced sexual intercourse; the percentage has declined significantly, by 14% for female and 22% for male teenagers, over the past 25 years.
  • In the early teen years males were more likely than females to have had sexual intercourse. But the percentage of older teenagers who had sexual intercourse was similar for female and male teenagers.
  • In 2011–2013, 79% of female teenagers and 84% of male teenagers used a contraceptive method at first sexual intercourse.
  • The condom remained the most common contraceptive method used among teenagers.
  • Young women who did not use a method of contraception at first sexual intercourse were twice as likely to become teen mothers as those who used a method.