99% Of Women Use Birth Control

Updated on February 17, 2012
M.B. asks from Occoquan, VA
38 answers

Is that true? I read in a recent letter that 99% of women use it. Here's the quote, it was from the white house:

"Nearly 99 percent of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives –- 99 percent. And yet, more than half of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it."

There was not citing of factual studies at the end of the letter.

Is this true with you all?

Do YOU use contraception?


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So What Happened?

I DID change my question a bit to be more clear, I re-read it after I updated it and it sounded confusing:)

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answers from Tampa on

Well, since the majority of women do not have 8-10 children in this day and age, I would assume that that most women use some sort of contraceptive.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

“Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true.” - Homer Simpson

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I am a BC user... I dont wanna risk anything right now. Although my youngest :( is proof it doesnt always work.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Tulsa on

I wish 99% used it correctly.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

did they site their sources? 87% of all statistics are made up.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I read somewhere that the survey was biased.

Thing is all of this debate is not whether women use birth control or whether the Catholic stance is outdated. The debate is about whether the government's policy violates the first amendment, which it does.

It doesn't even matter that most of the insurance offered by Catholic institutions already offer birth control. It matters that the government has no right to mandate the practice of a religion.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

The number is accurate - 99% of women have used birth control. The statistic comes from a survey that the CDC has used numerous times over the years. You can look at the numbers here.


Umm - using a condom is birth control.So is a tubal ligation. And if we are a representative sample, it is no wonder that 40% of pregnancies in this country are not planned. Yes - I use birth control - started 2 months before I started having sex. The only time in my life I did not use birth control was the 2 weeks I was trying to get pregnant, the 9 months I was pregnant and the 6 weeks after until I could get back on the pill.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

No birth control here:
No hormones: no Pill, no shots
No devices: no condoms, sponges or diaphragms
No spermicides
No withdrawal

Only self control--been controling my sexual urges for about 20 yrs--controlled myself through my early teens while my best friend was having sex in the next room with her BF, and I was sitting on the sofa with the guy they though I'd hook up with--controlled myself during high school when I had my first boyfriend--controlled myself in college--controlled myself through my engagement, and now that I'm married, I still have control of myself --have 3 kids.

Please keep in mind that the stat they are citing also includes women who have used the Pill for other reasons, not just birth control. It includes those women who have used it for acne and regulation of problematic menustral cycles.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

maybe they meant.. 99% of the peoplr that DO use birth control are women.. Meaning the women take on the responsibility 99% of the time..

Otherwise, no way.. reread what you think you saw..
And yes of course I have used BC so has my husband. So has my mom, my sister, sil, mil, father, fil, bil,best friends and yes this includes the males.

We have the amount of children we anted also.

My aunt never used BC, has 6 children. Strict Catholic.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

The stat is 98% of American women between 14 and 40 currently use, have used, or will use some form of contraceptive.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Roanoke on

We used it for years. We didn't want to have a baby while we were both in college. Wanted to graduate, go to grad school, buy a house, have a good job, and be financially stable first. Now that we've done all that, we aren't using anything because we are trying to have a baby!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Nope, not true for me. As soon as Bob and I got married - we stopped using any form of birth control.

I'm now 45 and don't use birth control. Maybe because I've had a hysterectomy - but even then before that - we didn't use birth control.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I don't, and for what I read neither Chery, so just in this post is already 2 out of 6.
Perhaps it said that 99% have use at some point some kind of birth control? Still would be too high in my opinion.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

i'm in the 1% category. others that have troubles conceiving, can't conceive or are trying to are probably in that category also. and of course those that are careless:) if you dont want a child you should be on birth control...i'm kindasurprised that thats the pecentage of people not wanting to be pregnant though. i would guess more along the lines of 95%. but maybe they meant who uses it typically.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It isn't saying that at any given moment 99% of women are using contraception, it's saying 99% of women will rely on contraception AT SOME POINT in their lives. In the research I read, I understand them to be talking about "artificial" birth control (birth control pills, iud, depo shots, tubes tied, Plan B etc.) The number is sound and comes from medical data collected over years by the CDC. Yes they are talking about women in the US.

To your secondary question. Yes, I have used birth control pills, nuva ring, and an iud (obviously not all together)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

That sounds like a really high percent so it's probably wrong. But whatever the percent truly is, I am part of it yes.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

I read some where that 83% of all statistics are made up . ..

yeah there's no way that's true.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Just For Fun:

What about Breastfeeding as a form of birth control ;) I don't supposed they counted that!

As for hormones, pills, etc. as much as I would like to not take them, I do. I am very happily married, with 3 children, and I love my life. I'm pretty sure that I don't want any more children, but not for totally selfish reasons.... As a mother and wife who does it all* I feel stretched to the limit sometimes, and I already feel like I am not doing enough for my family. If I had one more mouth to feed, someone might starve (not my quote, but funny). I know other mommas will understand. I want time with my children, they deserve that. My littlest one is 2 and we are just getting to a point where he isn't so needy and I can give more of myself to the rest of the fam. Not just meals and laundry and such, but myself emotionally. As they get older, they are only going to need me more, even if they say they don't. With the world the way that it is, I want to be involved and a part of their lives. Many women can balance more children, I've seen them, I know them, and they are truly amazing. I just know my limit. I would expect that if the Lord blessed me with another little precious bundle of joy, that He would also bless me with the strength and endurance to get through the first few years. I struggle with taking birth control. One day maybe I'll find the answer.

...Kind of went off on a tangent. I wish there were less BC users, more waiting until you got married, or at least graduated from high school.

I agree that statistics can be warped and manipulated to prove just about whatever point you want to make.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Not having sex is a form of birth control. So, as we are all typing our responses (assuming we aren't having sex and typing at the same time, which would be pretty talented - we are all on BC RIGHT NOW).

When studies like these are done, it really helps to know the population and number of people that they are asking. Statistics are really helpful in determining the validity of a study. I mean, if their study was 10 people, and 9 were on BC, then, technically that's correct.

I personally am not on 'birth control', but my husband had a vasectomy. So - is he on birth control? Are we both on birth control?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

We did use condoms for a while, and I would guess that was included, even though we won't anymore. To say women have or will at some point is vague enough that I would think it could be 99%. Think about it, if you used it even just once, you're part of that statistic. Since it also includes those who will use it at some point, every woman who gets tubes tied for any reason will also be counted. Not sure about how they came up with this statistic, but some women I know we're on the pill and used condoms. Later they got an iud. Sometimes groups will say (basically) "okay, we had 100 women and 99 methods of birth control used. 99 percent of women will use some form of birth control at some point in their life." of course that reasoning would be a little off, but I just recently finished a degree, and in the 20 ten-page research papers I wrote in the last 18 months, I learned a lot of different ways statistics are translated, and sometimes they're misleading. It could be a little of both, that it's vague and inclusive, and also has been interpreted in a way that doesn't show the results in the most accurate manner.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I started to read some of the responses you've gotten, but got too annoyed to continue.

To answer your actual questions: in my mind, the fact that they tossed the "at some point in their lives" in there kind of covers them & whether or not the percentage is acurate, we'll never know for sure, but it definitely wouldn't surprise me if it was. I do not currently use any form of birth control personally, but my husband had a vasectomy a few years ago. Prior to that, yes, I used various types of birth control off & on depending on what was going on in my life from the age of 17 through about 33.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have never used BC besides condoms, were they including condoms?

I am 34 yrs old.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Edit: Rereading the quote, I can see that it could be very close to be correct. I think it needs to be more precise in that they are are including. At the ages of 16 - 22, I did have trouble affording it. I needed b/c pills because I have PCOS (undiagnosed at the time). I was a high school student in a crazy house where I nearly supported myself (bought my own lunches, clothes, and most wants & needs), and then in college where I also paid for everything ---thanks to some student loan borrowing. When you say at sometime in their life, that makes a huge difference. But to say at any one given time that many women are using b/c, no way.

Absolutely no way is that even possibly true. So only 1 in 10 women are trying to conceive OR has medical or moral issues with taking b/c? What about the women who are breastfeeding? I couldn't take the mini-pill and I've heard many others couldn't either. Nope. NO way.

I took it from 16 - 24. Then was off it ttc, had babies, breastfed, and then hysterectomy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have never used any artificial form of birth control. I currently use Natural Family Planning. I have five sisters and at least one of them never used artificial birth control either. My other sisters' husbands have had vasectomies so they aren't using birth control. I have several friends who have never used artificial birth control. I don't think we are in the 1%.

I am surprised that the number is so high...of course, there are those who use birth control for acne and other issues. The quote doesn't say why they were using it.

And why are so many "struggling" to afford it? With other things we can't afford, we just don't buy. These studies make it seem like we are worse than animals and can't control ourselves (or just say "no") or wait until we are not fertile. I understand that people want to have sex whenever they feel like it without worry about pregnancy...but, sex is a big deal and shouldn't be thought of as anything less.

I don't use birth control pills because I don't like where it comes from and I don't like to put anything in my body that keeps it from doing its thing naturally. I don't know why they have to get some of it from pregnant horses (Premarin) and in other cases it is made in a lab...probably not good for our bodies.

I am not sure if that study includes NFP or "pulling-out" but it seems a little high to me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

None for us here either.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I used the pill from the time I was 18-25. Got pregnant with my son when I stopped using it. Got right back on the pill after having him for another 3 years and got pregnant a week after getting off of them. Got right back on after having the second son and got pregnant 3 months after I stopped taking them 5 years later. I now have an IUD. Have had it for about 10 months.
I always like to hear that a certain percentage of the US does something and then wonder how they came up with that number. I have only ONCE been asked if I agree or disagree with some kind of political thing (gay marriage) in my 34 years on this planet. I would like to know how they have come up with those numbers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

No birth control here! I think the stat is incorrect.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Well I'm over the 35 mark, (I'll be 38 on Saturday) but I'm not using any right now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I was on/used birth control during almost all of those 18-35 years.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I guess I have to answer your question with a question... Why does it matter how many women between whatever ages use birth control?

To answer your question, the statistic you cite doesn't include enough information, so it's impossible to answer. A proper report should include answers to: What was the context of that stat? Is it "females who are sexually active" or "all females"? Was there any other information asked? Like what is the reason you use birth control and what type? Many women use birth control to manage things other than to prevent pregnancy. Birth control pills are often prescribed for people who are treated for cancer to help them gain wait as the progesterone increases appetite.

And honestly, there are thousands of sexually active men and women on this planet. Should we/they all NOT be using some sort of birth control? Is it better to have thousands of unwanted pregnancies instead? What a ginormous drain on our economy that would be...from abortions, to women who can't afford health insurance and premature babies and babies put up for adoption and worse things that I can think of as well.

I get the religous thing about not wanting to provide birth control...but not wanting to provide it doesn't mean you're preventing women from having sex. So, I honestly don't get all the hoopla.

The bigger question to me is what is a panel of only men doing talkin about birth control when it's the women's bodies that are involved?

My questions are rhetorical.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I am 26 and never used any type of birth control except the condom.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I've been out of the mamapedia-loop lately, so don't know what got heated.

But hmm.... not sure how they come up with statistics like these. Noone has called me to ask what form of birth control I am using! I do not use the pill. I track my cycle and use condoms on 'possibly getting pregnant' times of the month. My SIL does not use the pill. My other SIL I think gets the depo shot, or at least I know she did in her past. A lot of women I know swear that the pill has helped their cycle become normal and their cramps aren't as devastatingly painful when they're on the pill .... so they stay on it for that reason. So out of us 3 women (me, SIL on one side, SIL on the other side - two out of 3 of us don't use any "prescription medication" as birth control).

Added after reading other's posts that "have used": Well YES, my SIL and myself have both used birth control in our pasts. We didn't like what it did to our emotions/libido/etc and decided to use a more natural method.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I just had my tubes tied so yay no more hormonals for me

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Nope. I think that's WAY wrong.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Hi, Mom:

I am responding to your question from a different point of view.
What was before the T-Party meeting last night is: The ObamaCare
law that is being pushed through is concerning the freedom of choice for
women to take care of their bodies. The law is putting that choice into the hands of the President.

The other thing that came to my mind with this question is: What are we
as the citizens of the USA doing about the crisis pregnancy issues facing our health care system and the conflicts arising in the homes concerning this violation of the laws of common welfare.

Anyway, I was challenged by what you wrote. I apologize for
offending you or anyone else about the thoughts that were generated
by your question.

Thanks for reading this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

makes total sense to me. anyone who is sexually active should be thinking both about how often they want to reproduce and how many STDs they'd enjoy having. i hope that 99% of women in this day and age use judicious birth control.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I used both prescription and OTC contraceptives from the time I became sexually active (17 years old) until I met my ex (39 years old). He was sterile so we didn't need them.
Now I'm menopausal so I don't have to worry about getting pregnant anymore (happy dance!), but I still like condoms for disease prevention.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I used it the first year that I was married. That was it. We have been married for 10 years now. We have 2 kids that we planned. The counting method worked just fine for us. My husband had the big V about 4 years ago

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