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Socioeconomic differences persist in use of permanent vs long-acting reversible contraception: An analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth, 2006 to 2010 vs 2015 to 2017

      Abstract

      Objective

      Permanent contraception has historically been more prevalent among non-White women with lower education and income. Given increasing popularity of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), we examine changing sociodemographic patterns of permanent contraception and LARC.

      Study design

      We performed a descriptive analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) from 2006 to 2017, with multivariable analyses of the 2006 to 2010 and 2015 to 2017 cohorts. Using multinomial logistic regression, we investigate predictors of contraceptive category (permanent contraception vs LARC, lower-efficacy contraception vs LARC) in reproductive-aged women.

      Results

      Total 8161 respondents were included in 2 distinct but analogous regression analyses: (1) the most recent survey cohort, 2015 to 2017 and (2) the cohort a decade prior, 2006 to 2010. Over this period, the prevalence of LARC increased nearly 3-fold (6.2%–16.7%), while permanent contraception use trended downwards (22%–18.6%). Yet, in adjusted models, we observed little change in the sociodemographic predictors of permanent contraception: from the early to recent cohort, use of permanent contraception (vs LARC) remained less likely among college graduates (multinomial odds ratio (OR) 0.45 [95% confidence interval 0.21, 0.97]) and Hispanic women (OR 0.41 [0.21, 0.82]). In addition, high income (>$74,999) and metropolitan residence came to predict less use (OR 0.33 [0.13, 0.84] and 0.47 [0.23, 0.97]). Multiparity, advanced age (over ≥35), and marital status remained strong predictors of permanent contraception.

      Conclusion

      Although use of LARC nearly equals that of permanent contraception in the most recent NSFG survey, socioeconomic differences persist. Continued effort is needed to detect and address structural barriers to accessing the most effective forms of contraception for women.

      Implications

      Comparing 2006–2010 to 2015–2017, reliance on female permanent contraception decreased while LARC use increased, making prevalence more similar. However, significant socioeconomic differences persist in who chooses permanent contraception, with urban, educated, higher income women more likely to use LARC. Ongoing efforts are needed to understand and reduce economic barriers to LARC.

      Keywords

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