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'The Pill' Is Birth Control Favorite in U.S.

Next most common method is female sterilization, study shows

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Give it up for The Pill: 50 years after it was invented, the oral contraceptive remains the leading method of birth control in the United States, a new report says, just edging out female sterilization.

Interviews conducted between 2006 and 2008 suggest that 10.7 million women aged 15-44 were using the birth-control pill, while 10.3 million had been sterilized.

The report, released May 26 by the National Center for Health Statistics, also suggests that an estimated 62 percent of the 61.9 million women aged 15-44 in the country were using birth control.

The report also found that:

Non-Hispanic white women were more likely to have used the birth control pill than Hispanic, black or Asian women. But blacks were more likely than whites to have taken Depo& Provera, an injected contraceptive that lasts for three months.

Women and girls aged 15-19 were most likely to report taking the birth control pill: 54 percent of them said they did, compared to just 11 percent of those aged 40-44.

More than half of childless women who used contraceptives turned to the birth control pill, but just eight percent of those with three or more children did. Those women with multiple kids were much more likely to have turned to female sterilization.

Women with more education were more likely to choose the pill; the less educated leaned more toward female sterilization.

More information

Visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine for more about birth control.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, May 26, news release, 2010.

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