BREAKING NEWS Finally Feeling Like Fall Full Story

Nearly two-thirds of US women use contraception, CDC reports

The most common methods for preventing pregnancy, according to a new government report are female sterilizat...

Posted: Dec 19, 2018 4:07 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2018 4:07 PM

The most common methods for preventing pregnancy, according to a new government report are female sterilization, oral contraception, long-acting reversible contraception such as IUDs and implants, and male condoms.

To help understand fertility patterns across demographics, researchers combed through the latest data from the National Survey of Family Growth to study contraceptive use among women.

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US Department of Health and Human Services

US federal departments and agencies

The results, published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, found that of the more than 5,500 respondents from 2015 to 2017, nearly 65% of women ages 15 to 49 reported using some sort of contraception in the month they were interviewed.

That's a slight increase since the previous report, which found that 61.6% of those surveyed used contraception from 2011 to 2015.

Female sterilization

The most common contraceptive method reported was female sterilization, or tubal ligation, a surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are closed to prevent pregnancy. Of those surveyed, 18.6% said they've done so.

That's an increase from 14.3% of women from 2011 to 2015.

But that number is very much tied to age. Nearly 2 in 5 women ages 40 to 49, or more than 39%, relied on their sterilization for contraception. For women 30 to 39, the figure was about 1 in 5, or more than 21.5%. And for women 20 to 29, only 1 in 20, or about 4%, had had a tubal ligation.

"Sterilization has been a common form of contraception both due to its permanence and ability to have it done after delivery of a child when someone is already getting health care," Dr. Kristyn Brandi, an obstetrician-gynecologist and board member for the advocacy group Physicians for Reproductive Health, wrote in an email. "Many poor women may not have access to contraception outside of a childbirth (where emergency insurance is often obtainable) so may want something convenient and long lasting."

The pill

The second most common contraceptive method was the birth control pill. About 12.6% of women reported relying on the pill as contraception.

That's a decrease from 15.9% from 2011 to 2015.

The new report found that the pill, as it's known, was most popular among women 20 to 29 (19.5%), followed by those 15 to 19 (16.6%) and then 30 to 39 (11%), followed by only slightly more than 5% of women 40 to 49.

"The pill and permanent sterilization for women have been the most common method of contraception since 1982, according to the Guttmacher institute," wrote Dr. Lillian Schapiro, an Atlanta gynecologist in private practice, in an email.

Long-acting contraception

Long-acting reversible contraceptives, including intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants, were used by 10.3% of respondents, making them the third most common method.

This is an increase from 2011 to 2015, when they were used by 8% of those surveyed.

The new report found use was highest for women ages 20 to 29 (13.1%), followed by those 30 to 39 (11.7%). More than 8% of respondents 15 to 19 used these methods, while less than 7% of women 40 to 49 did.

"LARC's are very safe now and becoming much more accepted," Schapiro wrote. "For women not ready to permanently prevent pregnancy they are a great option since they don't require remembering a pill every day and keeping up to date on a prescription."

Male condoms

Male condoms were the fourth most common method, used by 8.7% of those surveyed.

That's a decline from 9.2% of respondents reporting use from 2011 to 2015.

Now, women 20 to 29 and 30 to 39 used condoms the most: 11.6% and 10.6%, respectively. Just more than 5% of respondents 15 to 19 and 40 to 49 relied on condoms for contraception.

Other methods

Male sterilization, or vasectomies, was relied on by 5.9% of women. That's an increase from 4.5% of those surveyed from 2011 to 2015.

Depo-Provera (a birth control shot), the contraceptive ring or the patch accounted for 3.2% of used methods. And all other methods were used with 5.6% of women.

"The pill and sterilization are our oldest forms of birth control and women are more familiar with them, so many women use what they are familiar with. However, as newer devices come unto the market and become popular, that may change," Brandi said.

The new report found that contraceptive use went up with age, with 37.2% of women 15 to 19, 61.9% of those 20 to 29, 72% of women 30 to 39 and 73.7% of women 40 to 49 using contraception.

Contraceptive pill use was highest among non-Hispanic white women (14.9%); 9.2% of Hispanic women and 8.3% of non-Hispanic black women reported relying on the pill.

Condom use and long-acting reversible contraceptive use, across racial backgrounds, did not differ with any significance.

Education levels also made a difference in what methods women used. The higher the level of education, the less likely a woman was to rely on sterilization. Of women who were sterilized, 41.9% had no high school diploma or GED, 32.1% had a high school diploma or GED, 23.7% had some college education, and 11.3% had a bachelor's degree or more.

Conversely, use of the pill went up according to education levels. Of those who relied on contraceptive pills, 4.9% had no high school degree or GED, 7% had a high school degree or GED, 10.1% had some college, and 16.3% had a bachelor's degree or more.

"It is important to understand what certain demographics are using so we understand their preferences and make sure that everyone has access to all forms of contraception," Brandi noted.

The 35% of women who were not using contraception when they were interviewed were either not sexually active (17%), were pregnant, were postpartum or were looking to get pregnant (7.5%), nonusers of contraception who'd been sexually active (7.9%) or nonusers for other reasons, like nonsurgical sterility (2.7%).

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 813481

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139971910
Mobile722271323
Madison51970686
Shelby37279341
Baldwin37069540
Tuscaloosa34934599
Montgomery33953725
Lee23142240
Calhoun22142470
Morgan20639372
Etowah19758496
Marshall18245300
Houston17302405
St. Clair15912337
Cullman15306290
Limestone15202198
Elmore15075284
Lauderdale14143294
Talladega13715272
DeKalb12569259
Walker11085366
Blount10094174
Autauga9893146
Jackson9789180
Coffee9182189
Dale8859181
Colbert8789200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6732127
Covington6682179
Chilton6587160
Russell625958
Franklin5930105
Chambers5559142
Marion4955126
Dallas4882199
Clarke472782
Pike4719105
Geneva4564126
Winston4473101
Lawrence4264117
Bibb421686
Barbour355475
Marengo334089
Monroe330262
Randolph327063
Butler324794
Pickens313882
Henry310965
Hale309187
Cherokee299957
Fayette290679
Washington250951
Cleburne246958
Crenshaw243575
Clay240367
Macon230562
Lamar215846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178538
Lowndes173761
Wilcox167438
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131038
Greene125544
Choctaw86927
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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