A new study from the CDC reveals that the number of women ages 15 to 44 using "long-acting reversible contraception" like IUDs is still low, but has greatly increased in recent years.
As Livescience and Think Progress point out, when women ages 15-44 were polled between 2006 and 2010 about their contraception choices, 3.4 percent said they were using long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). In this new study, in which women were polled between 2011 and 2013, 7.2 percent said the same thing.
Using LARC's was doubly as common among women ages 25-34 than women younger or older than that age range, which makes sense – that age range is the sweet spot for women who are sexually active but aren't quite sure if they want to have children yet. (Conversely, many more women ages 35-44 had opted for sterilization than women below that age range.) The IUD is also one of the most effective (and cost-effective) forms of birth control, news that appears to be slowly but surely sweeping the nation.
But the pill is still the most common use of contraception:
In 2011–2013, 61.7% of the 60.9 million women aged 15–44 in the United States were currently using contraception. The most common contraceptive methods currently being used were the pill (16.0%), female sterilization (15.5%), male condoms (9.4%), and long-acting reversible contraceptives (7.2%).
Though pill use was drastically more common the more education a woman had: "One in 5 women (21.5%) with a bachelor's degree or higher was using the pill. Fewer than 1 woman in 20 (3.6%) without a high school diploma or GED was using the pill."
38 percent of women were not using contraception; 19 percent of those women were not having sex or had never had sex.
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