New contraceptive methods change birth control patterns

October 19, 2012 by Sharon Jayson

The birth control pill and sterilization are still the most common forms of contraception, but new federal data released Thursday show that long-acting methods are gaining ground while condom use for birth control is declining.

The report from the National Center for Health Statistics is based on data from a national sample of 12,279 15-44 in 2006-2010 compared with a sample of 10,847 women those ages in 1995. Findings show that sterilization and the pill were used by either 27 percent or 28 percent of women in both sets of data, (28 percent in 1995 and 27 percent in 2006-10 for and 27 percent in 1995 and 28 percent in 2006-10 for the pill), but as the most effective method of declined from 20 percent to 16 percent.

That decline was offset by a 75 percent increase in the use of other hormonal methods such as the patch or ring (from 4 percent to 7 percent) and a sevenfold increase (0.8 percent to 5.6 percent) in the (IUD). Such methods are among those deemed "long-acting" since they do not require daily or weekly attention.

"There is some shift toward more effective . The shift is also toward methods that require less user intervention," says Lawrence Finer, director of domestic research at the New York City non-profit Guttmacher Institute, which studies .

Finer is lead author of research published this month in the journal , which focused on long-acting contraception. The study found the proportion of women using such methods "increased significantly" since 2002 and occurred among women in almost every age, race, education and income group.

Experts say these other hormonal methods and the long-acting methods are becoming more popular because they are reliable and convenient. Many were not available during the first data collection. In addition, can last three years and some IUDs don't need replacing for five or 10 years.

However, the report notes that contraceptive method use varies depending on insurance coverage and income.

"Many of the newer methods require physician visits to receive either the method itself like the IUD or a prescription," says Jo Jones, the report's lead author.

But that's not the only obstacle to greater growth of these newer methods, suggests nurse practitioner Linda Dominguez, of Albuquerque.

"There's a whole generation of physician providers who were not trained in the use of IUDs and implants," says Dominguez, board chairwoman of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, which is providing such training.

Among other findings:

-62 percent of women ages 15-44 use contraception; 38 percent do not (includes those who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant; those who haven't ever had sexual intercourse or had sex in the past three months of the survey).

-Of teens ages 15-19, about 31 percent were using contraception; 59 percent either had never had intercourse or had not had intercourse in the prior three months.

-More white women (66 percent) were using contraception compared with Hispanic (60 percent) or black (54 percent) women.

-The use of other hormonal contraceptive methods increased in all age groups, but was greater among women under age 30.

Explore further: More US teens postponing sex: study

Related Stories

More US teens postponing sex: study

May 3, 2012
More US teenagers are postponing sex than in 1995, and hormonal contraceptive use is up among those who are sexually active, said US health authorities on Thursday.

Long-acting contraception methods reduce repeat abortions

July 25, 2011
Repeat abortions are significantly reduced if women use long-acting reversible contraceptive methods such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) after an abortion.

Intrauterine devices, implants most effective birth control

May 23, 2012
A study to evaluate birth control methods has found dramatic differences in their effectiveness. Women who used birth control pills, the patch or vaginal ring were 20 times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than ...

Abortion rates plummet with free birth control

October 4, 2012
Providing birth control to women at no cost substantially reduced unplanned pregnancies and cut abortion rates by 62 percent to 78 percent over the national rate, a new study shows.

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.