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Most Popular Forms of Birth Control

What's Your Preferred Method of Birth Control?

The Pill is still queen of contraception, according to new research from the National Center of Health Statistics. The center interviewed 7,356 women ages 15 to 44 over two years and compared the results to similar surveys conducted in 1982, 1995, and 2002. As it was in 1982, the pill is still the most popular choice among women looking to prevent pregnancy, but whether you're more likely to use birth control in the first place depends on your background.

Based on the data, the more educated a woman's mother is, the more likely she is to use birth control. Use also varied on race. White women are the most likely to use contraception, followed by Asian American women, Hispanics, and then black women. Here are some more stats:

  • In 1982, 55.7 percent of women used contraception. Today, 61.8 percent of women do.
  • 17 percent of women use the pill (15.6 percent did in 1982), 16.7 percent rely on female sterilization (12.9 percent did in 1982), and 10 percent of women rely on condoms (6.7 percent did in 1982). As for other nonhormonal options, there was an increase in IUD use and a near end to the use of a diaphragm. The use of the so-called withdrawal method also went up.
  • Male sterilization has remained steady at 6.1 percent.
  • The use of emergency contraception has increased to 10 percent of women from 4 percent in 2002.

What's your preferred method?

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Join The Conversation
amber512 amber512 6 years
I have never used contraception. As soon as we got married my husband and I started trying for a baby. Didn't realize we'd still be trying over four years later, but eventually I'll have to look into which birth control method might be good for me.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
Yes, Betty Wayne, NFP is the term used to describe Catholic-approved family planning. While you can use alternate forms of birth control in the fertility awareness method during your fertile periods, I don't believe NFP approves of using alternate birth control methods. So your fertile days would mean abstaining. Fertility awareness (FA) is similar to NFP, except without the Church or God part. It is where you practice becoming aware of your body by taking your temperature (as well as other things) and either abstaining from sex or using a different form of birth control on your fertile days.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
I would still hesitate to recommend withdrawal as a birth control method. I've heard a lot about NFP, isn't that where you take your temp and time when you're ovulating, and just not have sex? If I'm thinking the right thing, it's the only form of birth control Catholics are allowed to use.
snarkypants snarkypants 6 years
condoms. i hate them, but i have tried every version of the pill with horrible side effects, and my insurance sucks, so anything other than the shot is unbelievably expensive :(
xxstardust xxstardust 6 years
Betty - it's statistically more probably than a virgin conception, of course - but when done properly still quite rare, and drastically more uncommon then is generally believed. I apologize for the hyperbole, I was a bit loopy last night (tussin with codeine tends to make me a little silly)! ;]
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
Obvious anonymous troll is obvious!
lizlee89 lizlee89 6 years
Wow, Anonymous, no shame at all there, huh? beautiful. I hate to tell you, neither abortion nor "emergency contraception" prevent pregnancy. they both stop an already concieved child from continuing to form. I noticed that NFP was not included as an option. Natural Family Planning, for those of you don't know, is a very reliable and safe way to plan when and how often you have children. It's also completely safe and natural, does no harm to your body, and does not involve in any way killing a human being before he or she even gets the chance to start growing. No, it's not always 100% effective, just like all these other methods, but it's the best thing for both the woman and any child she might concieve. It'd be nice if Tres recognized all walks of life, not just the ones that are popular in society...
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
Rather than listing "withdrawal" as an option, it would have been nice to include fertility awareness (which is much more legit as an actual form of birth control than pulling out).
spitefullime spitefullime 6 years
I guess the Nuvaring is a form of the pill? I seriously tell every woman about how wonderful it is, how I don't have to think about it besides 2 days a month, how the lower hormone levels don't cause me to gain weight and be moody or feel like CRAP. Gosh it's wonderful! If only other girls weren't so disturbed by where you put it!!!
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 6 years
I'm on the pill, and it really works well for me. I really don't know what I would do without it. Not just with sex, it's helped me a lot with hormonal issues and period trouble.
gingirl gingirl 6 years
I love being on The Pill. I've had to try a few different kinds to find the right one for me, but it's just so convenient and easy. And thank God for Planned Parenthood, because they make it much more affordable.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I've been on the same birth control pill for a few years. I used to be paranoid about it, but now I have total faith in it. Can't argue with my perpetual non-pregnant state. I still wouldn't trust the withdrawal method. If you have other methods of preventing pregnancy available to you, why not use them?
lockandkey lockandkey 6 years
withdrawal is NOT contraception!
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
Low dose pill. Tried the regular dose pill and the depo shot and they both made me crazy emotional. Thinking about getting my tubes tied... seriously considering it actually. Stardust I guess I'm having a hard time understanding parts of your comment... "pregnancy from pre-ejaculate is about as improbable as a virgin conception... with consistent, perfect use in adults, it [pulling out] has a failure rate of about 4%." So the probability of virgin conception is 4%?
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 6 years
I'm sterilized with the Essure implants. I paid out the nose and the insertion procedure was not pleasant at all, but it has been totally worth it! No babies ever! No worries! Of course, I always have condoms with me, and I always use them unless I'm in a committed relationship.
xxstardust xxstardust 6 years
They're going to pry Seasonique from my cold, dead hands. I love it. It's wonderful. And, as always when the withdrawal method is the butt the joke, I like to point to the studies which have concluded that there is no sperm in pre-ejaculate. The landmark study which first discovered this fact can be found in the Oct. 1993 issue of Contraceptive Technology Update on PubMed if anyone is interested, but its findings have been replicated multiple times. A short synopsis - to be considered fertile (as when tested for fertility), a man has to have a minimum of 5 million active, mobile sperm per mililiter of ejaculate, and in practice no more than 100,000 of those sperm will generally reach the fallopian tubes; pre-ejaculate, on the other hand, has at most a couple thousand immobile sperm. Therefore, pregnancy from pre-ejaculate is about as improbable as a virgin conception. The only time it IS possible is if a man has sex without urinating since his last emission - sperm can linger in the urethra. Urine kills sperm, so it turns out peeing after sex is good for men as well as women. The reason the withdrawal method has a higher failure rate than other birth control methods is not because of sperm in pre-ejaculate, but rather because it is more often used by younger and less experienced couples in which the man (or more often, boy) is less knowledgeable about his body and is less likely to be able to pull out in time. In adults who know their bodies far better, the success rates of the withdrawal method are much higher - with consistent, perfect use in adults, it has a failure rate of about 4% (only 2% more than condoms).
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
I'm content with the pill. I've never tried anything else. I do believe that it has slowed down my sex drive, although that's hard to verify. I'm assuming the word contraception means that the question is about what method we use for preventing pregnancy, not STDs (otherwise who would pick the pill? hah).
a-million-suns a-million-suns 6 years
Mini-pill + condoms
EatStylePlay EatStylePlay 6 years
I used Depo....randomly caught Diabetes after 6 months.
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 6 years
The mirena IUD rocks, never had a problem with it.
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