Though birth control pills are still the most popular method of contraception, more and more women are choosing long-acting versions like the intrauterine device (IUD) or implant, according to new federal reports.
Data taken from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 11.6% of women who used birth control in the U.S. in 2011-2013 chose long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC). This is almost double the rate from the previous time period’s data (2006-10). In 2002, that number was just 2%.
Opting for LARC is low maintenance, and highly effective. The failure rate for these methods is around 0.8% for the IUD, and 0.05% for the implant. Comparatively, those rates jump to 9% for the pill, and 18% for the male condom.
These long-lasting methods aren’t as popular thanks to flawed versions in 1970s that resulted in brands pulled from the market, leaving a sullied impression on the alternative contraception. Nowadays, they are seen as safe and effective, though pricey; it can cost as much as $900 for uninsured women.
The researchers also noted birth control method can change over time due to availability and changes in societal fertility patterns. They also pointed out women are having children later in life, with a sharp rise in women having their first child after the age of 35.