ChildStats.gov—Forum on Child and Family Statistics
faces of children
Home  |  About the Forum  |  Publications  |  Data Sources  |  Help
Search

America's Young Adults: Special Issue, 2014

Contraception

The use of contraception can play a role in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections and the occurrence of unintended pregnancies. Births to young adult women under age 25 are more likely to be unintended than births to women age 25 and older. Compared with intended births, unintended births more often result in poorer outcomes for the health and economic well-being of mothers and children.33, 34, 36

Indicator Beh5: Contraceptive use among young adult women ages 18–24 who are at risk for unintended pregnancy, 2002 and 2006–2010
Contraceptive use among young adult women ages 18–24 who are at risk for unintended pregnancy, 2002 and 2006–2010

NOTE: Current contraception refers to the method used in the month of the interview. Other hormonal use includes use of contraceptive implants, injectables, patches, and rings. Dual use refers to concurrent use of a hormonal method and condoms. Women are at risk of unintended pregnancy if they are either currently using contraception or have had intercourse in the last three months among those who were not currently pregnant, postpartum, trying to get pregnant, or sterile for non-contraceptive reasons. Contraceptive methods shown in the figure are not mutually exclusive.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Survey of Family Growth.

  • In 2006–2010, the percentage of young adult women at risk of unintended pregnancy who did not use contraception was 17 percent among women ages 18–19 and 13 percent among women ages 20–24. There was no change between 2002 and 2006–2010 in the percentage of young women who reported not using contraception in either age group.
  • Among both young women ages 18–19 and those ages 20–24, there was no change between 2002 and 2006–2010 in the percentage using the pill, other hormonal contraceptive methods, condoms, or the dual use of condoms and hormonal contraceptive methods.
  • In 2006–2010, more young adult women in both age groups reported pill or condom use than use of other hormonal contraceptive methods or dual methods.

table icon Y4BEH5 HTML Table

33 McLanahan, S. (1995). The consequences of nonmarital childbearing for women, children, and society. In National Center for Health Statistics, Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

34 McLanahan, S., et al. (2010). Strengthening fragile families. The future of children policy brief. Princeton, NJ: Brookings Institution.

36 Copen, C.E., Daniels, K., and Mosher, W.D. (2013). First premarital cohabitation in the United States: 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth. National Health Statistics Reports, 64. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.