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- Various methods to prevent pregnancy. These can be selected based on effectiveness, patient acceptability, STI prevention and contraindications.
- The most effective methods of contraception are vasectomy, female sterilization, and the long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods, including the intrauterine devices and progesterone implant.
- 50% of all pregnancies in the US are unintended. 50% of these occur in women using a form of reversible contraception. 50% of all unintended pregnancies in the US result in termination.
- The most frequently used forms of contraception in the US (in order of prevalence) are oral contraceptives, female sterilization, male condom, male sterilization, and depot injectables. Despite their proven safety, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness, LARC methods (intrauterine devices [IUDs] and the subdermal implant) are underused in the US. Efforts to increase use of LARC remain a focus of family planning experts in the US (1).
- Unintended pregnancy: Women ages 18–24, and 35–44 years, unmarried/cohabitating women, women with less than a college education, minority women, pregnancy ambivalence
- Contraception nonuse: Being dissatisfied with one’s method of contraception, believing that contraceptive service providers were not available to answer method-related questions
- Risk of STI transmission: Reduced by condoms (both male and female), abstinence, and outercourse