Unwanted Pregnancy and Use of Withdrawal among American Women Aged 15–25

Annie Dude, University of Chicago
Amy Neustadt, University of Chicago
Melissa Gilliam, University of Chicago

Pregnancy rates among young women in the United States are high, and a majority of these pregnancies are unwanted. According to the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), approximately 23% of women aged 15-25 occasionally or always choose withdrawal as a contraceptive method. Withdrawal has a high failure rate, approximately 18-28% in one year of use. Cox hazard model regressions on data from the NSFG indicates that those women that use withdrawal as contraception are at increased risk of pregnancy relative to women who use other contraceptive methods, with a hazard ratio of 1.35 (p = 0.046). Women who never use contraception, however, are at an even higher risk of an unwanted pregnancy (hazard ratio = 2.04, p = 0.00), indicating that withdrawal use may prevent some unwanted pregnancies, but is not as effective as other contraceptive methods.

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Presented in Session 112: Contraception