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Birth Control in America: What We Use

The birth control pill may have made it possible for more women to enjoy sex without fear of getting pregnant, but for some, that protection is just not good enough.  While the pill remains the most popular method of birth control for American women in general, statistics show that married women prefer a more fool-proof method:  Sterilization.

Data compiled from in-person interviews of more than 7,300 women of childbearing age nationwide from 2006 to 2008 reveal that despite a multitude of contraceptive options, more than half of American women who have never had children rely on birth control pills to keep it that way.  But surprisingly, for women in general – regardless of marital status, age, or whether or not they’ve had children – the pill ranks much lower.  In fact, it’s about even with tubal ligation with 17% of women using each method.

When you break those numbers down and look at married women only, tubal ligation skyrockets to the top of the preferred method of birth control with 25% opting to go that route.  You don’t need a degree in sociology to figure out why that is.  Tubal ligation is permanent and fool-proof, an important consideration for married women whose baby making days are behind them.

But what about the pill?  With so many non-permanent birth control options available, why are we so in love with that little round pill?  The study doesn’t address that, but does point to an old-school form of birth control that might be making a comeback:  the IUD.

An intrauterine device that you need a doctor to place, the IUD  was somewhat popular back in the 1970′s.  But after a series of high profile cases in which one particular brand caused serious and sometimes deadly infections, women gave up on them.  Are we willing to give them another try?

Image: treyevan/Flickr

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