Guttmacher Institute is reporting on a new study of women’s contraceptive usage across age ranges.
A new study of women’s contraceptive use around the world finds that sexually active 15-19-year-olds are more likely than their 20-49-year-old counterparts to use contraceptives inconsistently and, on average, experience a 25% higher rate of contraceptive failure.
The study’s authors, Ann K. Blanc of EngenderHealth et al., believe that compared with adult women, adolescent women face more obstacles to consistent contraceptive use–including feeling embarrassed about seeking out contraceptives, not being able to afford them and not knowing how to use them correctly–and may be more likely to abandon a method and try another if they experience side effects, which often leads to gaps in contraceptive use. The authors also note that, in comparison with adult women, adolescents tend to use methods with higher failure rates, to use methods less effectively and to be more fertile–all factors that increase the risk of unintended pregnancy.
This isn’t really surprising data, and while the study acknowledges that contraceptive usage among young women has gone up in many countries, this inconsistent usage could definitely be an issue. This study is interesting because it looks globally at contraceptive usage. Access and education to contraceptives vary widely across the world, depending on the economic situation, political environment and other factors in determining access. The study also points out that demand for contraceptives will only rise as the population increases, and that international health systems are going to have to be significantly improved to adjust to this rise.
You can read the rest of the study here.