Predictors of contraceptive methods among adolescents and young women residing in Spain

J Sex Med. 2011 Sep;8(9):2431-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02346.x. Epub 2011 Jun 15.


Introduction: Preventing unwanted pregnancy is considered one of the main preventive measures of a developed health system.

Aims: The aim of the study were to determine the prevalence of contraceptive methods and identify factors associated with the use of contraception by adolescents and young women residents in Spain.

Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional epidemiologic study on the factors determining use of a contraceptive method among sexually active adolescents and young women aged 16-29 years, living in Spain. As the dependent variable, we took the answer to the questions "During the last 12 months, what contraceptive method have you generally used in your sexual relations?" Independent variables were socio-demographic factors, sexual habits, and variables associated with perception of sexual health. Using logistic multivariate regression models, we have estimated the independent effect of each of these variables on the contraceptive methods use.

Main outcome measures: We used secondary individualized data drawn from the first National Sexual Health Survey conducted in Spain.

Results: The male condom seems to be the most widely used (56.7%). The likelihood of using a condom is greater to those who have more than two sexual partners (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=3.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.72-5.60). Predictors of use of oral contraceptives as the only method are age and having a positive view of one's sexual health (AOR=2.65; 95% CI, 1.28-5.45). Young women with two or more sexual partners were three times likelier to use the double method (AOR=3.83; 95% CI, 1.52-9.65).

Conclusions: The number of sexual partners, information on and importance of sexuality in one's life predicted the use of the condom as the only method. The factors associated with use of oral contraceptives were having a stable sexual partner and good perception of sexual health. The variable most strongly associated with use of the double method was number of sexual partners.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Contraception / methods
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptives, Oral