Objective: To update United States steroidal contraceptive use data for the period 1989 to 1994.
Study design: Pharmaceutical marketing data were used to examine trends in the utilization and distribution of oral contraceptives, Norplant, and Depo-Provera.
Results: There were 56.8 million prescriptions for oral contraceptives dispensed through retail pharmacies in 1994. Estrogen and progestin doses remained fairly stable over time. The average ethinyl estradiol dose of formulations was approximately 34 microg per pill. Mentions for oral contraceptives among 35- to 44-year-old women increased. Approximately 169,000 Norplant systems were distributed from 1991 through 1994. More than 1.5 million milliliters of Depo-Provera were distributed from 1993 to 1994.
Conclusions: Oral contraceptives remain a popular form of contraception. Parenteral formulations have been rapidly accepted.