BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A new National Center for Health Statistics report indicates that more of the women using birth control opt for long-acting reversible methods, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs).
The updated data shows the number of women choosing long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) has doubled in the U.S. between 2011 and 2013, compared to the rates in 2006-2010 – going from 6 percent to 11.6 percent. Reports from 2002 revealed the U.S. rate was merely 2 percent.
In spite of the fast growing popularity of LARCs, the pill remains the most popular method of birth control remain (with 26 percent of women using it), followed by female sterilization (25 percent) and condoms (15 percent). According to expert opinions, LARCs are starting to prove their worth, providing women with more control over when and with whom they have children.
As reported by the New York Times, roughly half of the 6.6 million pregnancies that occur each year in the U.S. are unintended, so experts believe a broader use of LARCs would help curb that statistic.
LARCs are gaining more traction among women not just because they prove to be highly effective when used properly, but also because they’re so easy to use properly. Unlike condoms or the pill, this type of contraception does not rely on a woman’s – or man’s – action to work properly.
Original versions of LARC methods in the 1970s have been downright disastrous, which is the reason why they had trouble becoming more widely used. However, today’s versions are considered very safe by and large. Another obstacle that is now out of the way was the LARCs’ cost – uninsured women could pay as much as $900 – but Obamacare took care of that, making IUDs less expensive.
Statistics show about the same use across educational groups, but LARCs were significantly less popular among black women, at about 8.6 percent. Hispanic women took the lead with 15.1 percent of them using LARC methods, seconded by 11.4 of white women.
At 40 percent in usage, female sterilization appeared to be the most popular method among women with just a high school diploma or with less education in general. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the pill, which has a lot more favor among educated women; a third of college women use it.
According to the nationally representative federal survey, birth control is used by about 62 percent of women in the United States, in one form or another.
Image Source: Island Sexual Health