Fifty-nine percent of American women and teens in their childbearing years use contraception, and condoms are winning wider acceptance, a federal health agency reported Tuesday.
In a survey released on Valentine’s Day, the National Center for Health Statistics said condom use increased from 9 percent to 11 percent while use of the pill declined from 19 percent to 17 percent between 1988 and 1990.
Nine percent of the nearly 5,700 women surveyed said they never have had sexual intercourse.
The center said that in 1988-90, 71 percent of young, unmarried women had used contraception the first time they had sex. At the start of the 1980s, a similar survey had found only 53 percent of the women 15 to 19 years old had used contraception the first time they had sex.
But among sexually experienced teens, contraceptive use declined from 61 percent to 58 percent.
Among single women using contraception, the proportion using condoms increased from 20 percent to 30 percent and the proportion using the pill dropped from 59 percent to 51 percent.
The study was based on surveys of 5,686 women 15 to 44 years old in 1990 and 5,359 of the same women in 1988.