Sixteen-year-old oral contraceptive users in Finland, 1981-1993

Scand J Soc Med. 1995 Dec;23(4):236-41. doi: 10.1177/140349489502300404.


While adolescent fertility and abortion rates continue to decline in Finland, regional variations in teenage pregnancies persist, particularly among 16-17-year-olds. We studied differences in the use of oral contraceptives (OCs) among 16-year-old girls according to sociodemographic variables between 1981 and 1993. Questionnaires were mailed to national samples (N = 462-1594) of 16-year-old girls biannually, giving response rates ranging from 86% to 91% (the Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey). The increasing trend in OC use levelled off in 1989 at around 17-19%. OC use was most frequent in the lower socioeconomic groups, least frequent in the rural areas, but did not vary significantly according to region of the country. The pace of adopting OCs did not vary across the socioeconomic groups or regions. The socioeconomic and regional distributions of OC use were consistent with previous studies on teenage sexual activity. The results suggest equal accessibility of family planning services; regional variation in pregnancy rates cannot be explained by unequal distribution of OC use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Contraceptives, Oral / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Utilization
  • Family Planning Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Contraceptives, Oral