Popular Methods

  • 64% reproductive-age women who practice contraception use reversible methods, such as oral contraceptives or condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.
  • The pill is the method most widely used by women who are in their teens and 20's, never-married women and women with at least a college degree.
  • Women in their teens and 20's are more likely to rely on the 3-month injectable than are older women. Women aged 25-29 are more likely than women in other age-groups to rely on the implant, 1-month injectable or patch.
  • 7.3 million women use barrier contraceptives, such as the male condom. Condom use is especially common among teenagers, 20 - 24 years old, childless women, and never-married women.
  • 15% of contraceptive users rely on dual methods (most often the condom combined with another method). The proportions using more than one method are greatest among teenagers and never-married women.

Teen Contraceptive Use

  • Teenagers (aged 15 - 19) who do not use a contraceptive at first sex are twice as likely to become teen mothers as are teenagers who use a method.
  • 27% of teenage women using contraceptives choose condoms as their primary method. Condom use declines as women grow older and marry.
  • Of the 3.1 million teenage women who use contraceptives, 53% - more than 1.5 million women - rely on the pill.
  • 45% of teenage women who practice contraception use condoms, either alone (19%) or with another method (25%).

Sources of Data

The information is the most current available. All of the data are from research conducted by The Alan Guttmacher Institute, the National Center for Health Statistics or Contraceptive Technology.