Most Commonly Used Birth Control Methods

The birth control pill remains one of the most popular methods of birth control for women, along with female sterilization and condoms.

Among the two-thirds of women aged 15 to 44 who used birth control, approximately 16 percent used the pill.

 Female sterilization commonly known as tying of tubes,  is where women have their fallopian tubes closed or blocked.  This method was used by 15.5 percent of women, while 9.4 percent used male condoms, according to the report published in December by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

But intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, both types of long-acting reversible contraceptives, are also very common forms of birth control, with 7.2 percent of women using them.  The use of long-term birth control continues to grow in popularity.  Their use has nearly doubled in the past several years.

The most popular long-acting reversible contraception is the IUD, used by 3-4%  of women in 2006 to 2010 and by 6-7% of women in 2011 to 2013. The IUDs available in the United States include two hormonal versions, Mirena and Skyla, and one containing copper, ParaGard.

When IUDs came out years ago, there were concerns they might raise the risk of pelvic infection and jeopardize a woman’s fertility. But IUDs currently on the market don’t carry those risks.  They have become a wonderful option for women seeking long-term birth control.

Equally, if not more important than birth control is protecting women and their partners from contracting STI’s.  The only methods currently avaiable that protect from pregnancy as well as Sexually transmitted diseases (STI’s) are the male and female condoms.

Ideally there will eventually be a long term birth control method that protects women and their partners from pregnancy and from STI’s.