Contraception in the United States

Contraception in the United States: A Closer Look at Experiences, Preferences, and Coverage

New KFF Survey Fielded by SSRS Using the SSRS Opinion Panel

Contraceptive care is an important component of overall health care for many people. Federal and state policies shape access to and the availability of contraceptive care, but factors such as provider characteristics, as well as individual preferences and experiences also impact contraceptive choices and use. This report provides a close examination of reproductive age (18-49) females’ (including those who identify as women and other genders) experiences with contraception, insurance coverage, contraceptive preferences, and interactions with the health care system based on an analysis of the 2022 KFF Women’s Health Survey, a nationally representative survey of females ages 18 to 64 in the U.S.

Use of Contraceptives

The majority of females 18 to 64 (90%) have used contraception at some point in their reproductive years and many have used more than one contraceptive method throughout their lifetime (76%). People’s needs and preferences for different types of methods can change and speaks to the importance of having a broad range of contraceptive options available. Not surprisingly, most people use contraception to prevent pregnancy (85%), but four in ten also say that they use contraception for another reason such as managing a medical condition or preventing a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Not all people who want to prevent pregnancy use contraceptives. One in six (17%) sexually active females who say they are not trying to get pregnant are not using contraception. There are many reasons why people may not use contraceptives, ranging from concerns about side effects, lack of desire to use a method, to those who aren’t trying but would not mind if they got pregnant or have religious reasons.