October 9, 2015 — The percentage of U.S. women who use long-acting reversible contraception has increased in recent years, according to a study released on Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute, Time reports.
For the study, researchers reviewed national survey data of women ages 15 to 44. According to Time, LARC methods are regarded as the most effective reversible birth control methods currently available, with a failure rate of less than 1% (Sifferlin, Time, 10/8).
The data included in the study predates the implementation of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage rules, and the authors said the measure will likely increase LARC use and access.
The researchers found that 11.6% of U.S. women used LARC in 2012, up from about 8.5% in 2009. They noted that the increase appeared to be part of a continuing trend over the past decade: Previous research from Guttmacher found that just 2.4% of women used an intrauterine device or another LARC method in 2002.
Of the women using LARC methods in 2012, 10.3% were using an IUD while 1.3% were using a contraceptive implant. In 2009, 7.7% of LARC users had an IUD and 0.8% had a contraceptive implant (Guttmacher release, 10/8).
The researchers noted that while LARC use increased across most demographic groups, the increase was most significant among Hispanic women, privately insured women, women who had not had children and women who over the last 12 months had fewer than two sexual partners (Time, 10/8). According to the study, LARC use did not increase among black women, and the researchers found no differences in LARC use based on a woman's low-income status (Guttmacher release, 10/8).