Birth Control is Also Part of Sexual Health

MHE Publication, MHE June 2021, Volume 31, Issue 6

According to the CDC, use of any contraception has remained stable in the United States. From 2015 to 2017, approximately 2 out of 3 girls and women ages 15 to 49 used some form of contraception,and a similar proportion did so from 2017 to 2019.

Prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted disease (STD) is central to sexual health, but most public health experts say access to and use of birth control are just as important. According to the CDC, use of any contraception has remained stable in the United States. From 2015 to 2017, approximately 2 out of 3 girls and women ages 15 to 49 used some form of contraception,and a similar proportion did so from 2017 to 2019.

The most common contraceptive methods currently used are female sterilization (18.1%), oral contraceptive pills (14.0%), long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs; 10.4%) and the male condom (8.4%), according to the CDC. Use of LARCs, which include intrauterine devices and hormone-releasing implants, is higher among women ages 20 to 39 than among those ages 15 to 19 and in their 40s.

Related: Rising STD Trend, Interrupted

With higher education, female sterilization declines and use of the pill increases, according to Jessica M. Atrio, M.D., in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Hospital and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

New contraceptive methods include vaginal rings, transdermal patches and newer combinations of oral contraceptives that decrease thrombotic risk and avoid androgenic effects, according to Gabriel Wagner, M.D., a clinical associate professor at University of California, San Diego. Contraceptives in development include those that contain an antiretroviral agent to prevent pregnancy and provide protection against STDs, including HIV.