Women’s use of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods has increased, but current, nationally representative information is limited on women’s awareness and perceptions of birth control methods that inform efforts to further increase take-up of effective forms of birth control. This brief uses new data collected in the first quarter of 2016 to explore women’s familiarity with various birth control methods, particularly LARCs, and how women of reproductive age (18 to 44) view the safety and effectiveness of each method. In 2016, women of reproductive age (18 to 44) were most familiar with birth control pills and condoms; only 31 percent of those women had heard a lot about two more-effective methods, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants. Less than half of women viewed IUDs as very effective at preventing pregnancy, and even less—37 percent—viewed implants as very effective. More than one in five women were unsure of the safety of IUDs or implants. Women with knowledge gaps about IUDs and implants were more likely to be nonwhite, non-Hispanic, low income, and single and to have never been pregnant.
To reuse content from Urban Institute, visit copyright.com, search for the publications, choose from a list of licenses, and complete the transaction.