Long-acting Reversible Contraception Use Fluctuated Over 30 Years

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Amy Branum
M.S.P.H., Ph.D and Jo Jones Ph.D
Center for Health Statistics
Division of Vital Statistics, Reproductive Statistics Branch

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: This data brief was based on multiple years of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). The NSFG, first conducted in 1973, is administered by NCHS in response to a legal mandate that says that NCHS “shall collect statistics on …family formation, growth, and dissolution.” (PHS Act, Sec 306). Up through the 2002 NSFG, the survey was conducted periodically; with the 2006-2010 data collection, the NSFG is a continuous survey with interviews conducted over multiple years. We felt it was important to examine long-term trends in Long-acting Reversible Contraception use due to fluctuations over time in IUD and implant acceptability and availability as contraception methods, especially in light of recent efforts to promote LARC use to prevent unintended pregnancies and for birth spacing.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: We found that Long-acting Reversible Contraception use declined between 1982 and 1988, remained stable through 2002 and then increased almost five-fold between 2002 and 2011-2013 (from 1.5% to 7.2). Long-acting Reversible Contraception use has, and continues to be, generally highest among women aged 25-34 but has increased the most among women 15-24 since 2002. Hispanic women used Long-acting Reversible Contraception at higher rates in 1982 compared to non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women but patterns of use diverged after 1995 so that by 2011-2013, patterns of use were more similar by race and Hispanic origin. Women who have at least one previous live birth have used, and continue to use, LARCs at a higher rate compared to women with no previous births.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: These data just show how Long-acting Reversible Contraception use has changed over a 30-year period and do not address efficacy, cost, or acceptability of use. However, these trends may be helpful to physicians and to the public to get a sense of who is using Long-acting Reversible Contraception methods currently and how use may have changed over time.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: It could be important to continue to track these trends to inform understanding about fertility patterns.


Branum AM, Jones J. Trends in long-acting reversible contraception use among U.S. women aged 15–44. NCHS data brief, no 188. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2015.

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amy Branum M.S.P.H., Ph.D and Jo Jones Ph.D (2015). Long-acting Reversible Contraception Use Fluctuated Over 30 Years