Popularity of birth control pills soars Use has doubled since 1981, company finds.

August 21, 1991|By New York Times

There has been a dramatic jump in the number of women using birth control pills, with more women staying on the pill longer and an increasing number remaining on the pill into their 40s, a new study has found.

Among the other surprising findings in the study, a large survey regarding the contraceptive choices of American women, was that those who rely on intrauterine devices, which can be difficult to obtain in the United States, report the highest level of satisfaction of any contraceptive users.

Also, despite fears of HIV infection through sexual activity, most women described their sexual behavior as unchanged, although a growing number are using condoms along with another method of contraception.

The survey, conducted annually

for the past 23 years by Ortho Pharmaceuticals for marketing purposes, is being made public for the first time. The company surveyed 8,000 women, from 15 years of age to 50. The increase in oral contraceptive use, which was found to be particularly large among women over 35, is the clearest new trend. Since 1981, the number of oral contraceptive users between the ages of 15 and 44 has doubled, to 16.3 million. An additional half-million women 45 to 50 years old now also use the pill.

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