More women are using long-acting reversible contraception

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Use of long-acting reversible contraception - intrauterine devices and subdermal implants - in the United States more than doubled between 2002 and 2008, according to a new study.

Use of long-acting reversible contraception-intrauterine devices (IUD) and subdermal implants-in the United States more than doubled between 2002 and 2008, according to a recent study from the Guttmacher Institute in New York. Most of the increase is attributable to an increase in IUD use.

Researchers reviewed data on 2 nationally representative samples of women between the ages of 15 and 44 years, including 7,643 women in 2002 and 7,356 women during the period 2006–2008.

They found the use of long-acting reversible contraception increased from 2.4% in 2002 to 5.6% in 2006–2008. The largest increases occurred in the youngest and oldest age groups, among non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic African American women, among foreign-born women, and among those in the highest income group. By 2006–2008, researchers calculated that women who had given birth once or twice (those who had given birth 3 or 4 times were more likely to be sterilized) made up about 10% of users of the category of contraception; foreign-born women accounted for 8.8%; and Hispanic women accounted for 8.4%. Early age at first intercourse also was associated with a greater likelihood of using long-acting reversible contraception.

Kavanaugh ML, Jerman J, Hubacher D, Kost K, Finer LB. Characteristics of women in the United States who use long-acting reversible contraceptive methods. Obstet Gynecol. 2011;117(6):1349-1357.

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