Use of long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), the most effective methods, is on the rise. According to new data from the CDC, approximately 62% of women aged 15-44 were using some type of contraceptive method. The most commonly used methods were the pill (16.0%), female sterilization (15.5%), condoms (9.4%), and long-acting reversible contraceptives (7.2%).
LARC methods – the intrauterine device and implant – are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, can provide protection for up to 12 years, and require little, if any, maintenance. A shift to these methods has the ability to greatly decrease a person’s chance of an unintended pregnancy, and the high percentage of unplanned pregnancies in the U.S.
When information and cost barriers are eliminated, 3 out of 4 women choose to use a LARC method. Programs (see here and here) that have overcome the up-front costs of LARCs have had a dramatic effect reducing teen and unplanned pregnancies, as well as abortions
In the effort to address our high rates of unplanned pregnancy, it is important that access to the most effective forms of birth control — and education about all methods to prevent and plan pregnancy – be expanded, in order to ensure that all people can use the method that best suits their needs.