In recent years, the number of American women who use long-acting birth control methods has nearly doubled, according to a new report by the federal government. The use of these methods, such as intrauterine devices and implants, has risen to 11.6 percent in the 2011-13 period, up from 6 percent in 2006-10. While the pill (26 percent) and condoms (15 percent) remain more widely used, long-acting birth control is the fastest growing method in the United States. It is also increasingly promoted by doctors, as a safe and effective method because, unlike the pill, it does not require action from women. Women’s health advocates believe it is helping reduce unintended pregnancies (that amount to about half of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the US every year).
Drawing from a nationally representative survey, the study found that about 62 percent of women in the US are on birth control, and that use of the long-acting methods was about equal among educational groups. It was less common among black women, however (at 8.6 percent), compared with 15.1 percent of Hispanics and 11.4 percent of whites.
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