Emergency Contraception Use On The Rise
February 14, 2013

More Women Taking Morning After Pill In U.S.

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in a report on Thursday more and more women in the US are taking the "morning-after" pill.

Emergency contraceptions are used by women after they have had sexual intercourse in an attempt to ensure they will not get pregnant. About one half of all pregnancies in the US are unintended, according to the CDC.

There are at least four brands out there now that offer a morning after pill, and most of them are available over the counter for women over the age of 17.

According to the CDC, the percentage of women who used the contraceptive pill between 2006 and 2010, compared to 2002, is nearly three times as many. New data shows just four percent of women between the ages 15 and 44 had taken an emergency contraception pill back in 2002, while now that figure is up to eleven percent.

The majority of the women who are using the contraceptive pill are between the ages of 20 and 25, followed by the group aged 25 to 29. Women between 30 and 44 use the pill less frequently than any other age category.

Also, according to CDC, most of the women, 23 percent, that have used the pill have some college education, or higher. Just seven percent of those who have used the morning after pill have a high school or GED education, while only six percent have no high school education.

Over 50 percent of older women, between ages 30 and 44, who said they used the emergency contraception did so because they feared the contraceptive method they used would not work.

Nearly half of all the women who used emergency contraception listed their reasoning as being because they had unprotected sex before.

"When looking at age differences, it should be kept in mind that not all women had access to emergency contraception during the earlier portion of their reproductive years," the CDC wrote in their report. "It was expected that older women would have used emergency contraception less frequently than younger women for reasons of both supply and demand."

Back in November of last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics put a call out to pediatricians to counsel all of their adolescent patients about emergency contraception, and offer advanced prescriptions for all girls under 17.

The reasoning for the AAP pushing hard for emergency contraception is because nearly 80 percent of teenage pregnancies in the US are unplanned. Also, teen birth rates in the US are "significantly higher than other industrialized nations."