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Similarities and differences in contraceptive use reported by women and men in the National Survey of Family Growth

Author(s): Aiken, Abigail; Wang, Y.; Higgins, J.; Trussell, James

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Abstract: Objective—To compare use of contraceptive methods at last heterosexual intercourse among 15– 44 year-old women and men at risk of unintended pregnancy in the United States. Study Design—We employed data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) 2006– 2013. We considered women and men to be at-risk of unintended pregnancy if they had intercourse in the last month, regardless of contraceptive use, and if they or their partner had the ability to get pregnant and neither was trying to become pregnant. We categorized multiple method use according to the most effective method reported. To explore the contributions of age and relationship status to differences in reporting between women and men, we conducted sensitivity analyses, limiting age to 25–44 years and union status to married and cohabiting. Results—Distributions of methods used at last intercourse differed for women and men. A positive difference reflects higher reporting among women, while a negative difference reflects higher reporting among men. Percentage-point differences were largest for reported use of no method (−7.6) and female sterilization (+7.4), each p<0.001. These differences persisted even when the sample was restricted by age and relationship status. Conclusion—Estimates of men’s contraceptive use may be subject to underreporting of their partners’ method use, particularly when their female partner is sterilized. Neither older age nor married and cohabiting relationship status accounted for the observed differences. Further research is needed to explore the factors underlying reporting differences between women and men with respect to female sterilization and use of no method.
Publication Date: 2017
Citation: Aiken, AR, Wang, Y, Higgins, J, Trussell, J. (2017). Similarities and differences in contraceptive use reported by women and men in the National Survey of Family Growth. Contraception, 95 (419 - 423. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2016.10.008
DOI: doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2016.10.008
ISSN: 0010-7824
Pages: 419 - 423
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Contraception
Version: Author's manuscript

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