Contraceptive nonuse among US women at risk for unplanned pregnancy

Contraception. 2008 Oct;78(4):284-9. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.04.124. Epub 2008 Jul 22.


Background: This study was conducted to assess risk factors for contraceptive nonuse among a nationally representative sample of US women and explored the influence of future pregnancy intentions on contraceptive nonuse.

Study design: Using data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), we analyzed 12 months of contraceptive behavior among 3687 women at risk for unplanned pregnancy.

Results: Compared with contraceptive users, contraceptive nonusers were more likely to be older than 40 years (OR 6.3, 95% CI 2.7-14.7), black (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2-2.8), less educated (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.4-4.0), uninsured (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.4), Medicaid recipients (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2-2.9) or having infrequent intercourse (OR 3.8, 95% CI 2.7-5.3). We found no significant association between future pregnancy intentions and contraceptive behavior.

Conclusions: While family planning efforts have traditionally focused on disadvantaged women, older women and women who have infrequent sex are also at high risk for nonuse. Future pregnancy intentions, as currently assessed by the NSFG, is not a useful indicator of contraceptive behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Contraception Behavior / ethnology
  • Contraception Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Planning Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Humans
  • Social Class
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People / psychology
  • Young Adult