Contraception

Contraception is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

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Basics

Description

  • Medications or procedures that control timing of pregnancies and prevent unintended pregnancies
  • Contraception options are divided into two major categories: hormonal and nonhormonal.
  • The most effective methods of contraception are vasectomy, female sterilization, and the long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).

Epidemiology

Incidence
  • The estimated prevalence of contraception use among women age 15 to 44 years is 61% in the United States (1).
  • 49% of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and half of these occur in women using a form of reversible contraception.
  • 43% of all unintended pregnancies in the United States result in termination.
  • The most commonly used methods were the pill (16.0%), female sterilization (15.5%), condoms (9.4%), and LARCs (7.2%).

Risk Factors

Unintended pregnancy: higher rates among women ages 18 to 24 and >40 years, unmarried/cohabitating women, women with less than a college education, and minority women

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