2 in 5 Women Skip Birth Control

Close-up of birth control pills in two plastic tablet dispenser cases
A new poll found that two in five women had not used birth control or skipped taking their regular dose of oral contraceptive pills in the last month, mostly due to beliefs that they are infertile or not sexually active all the time.

The Contraception in America survey polled 201 physicians and 1,000 women between the ages of 18 and 49. The survey was sponsored by Teva Women’s Heath.

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In the survey, 55 percent of women aged 25 to 29 believe their accidental pregnancy was the result of contraceptive failure, when in reality it was related to an error, such as skipping doses of birth control pills, or misinformation about their fertility or sexual activity.

Most commonly reported types of birth control included birth control pills, tubal ligation, male condoms, and IUDs.

Some women may miss taking birth control pills. And there is also confusion on how long an intrauterine device (IUD) lasts, even among users. One in three women says an IUD lasts less than five years, when it actually lasts five to 10 years, the poll showed.

Many women just don’t fully understand their risk for getting pregnant, and the study reveals that more women need to be proactive and begin a conversation with their doctor at their annual visit and discuss their options.

More Poll Results

According to the poll:

  • 43% of women who had been pregnant had one or more accidental or unintended pregnancy.
  • About 50% of these women report that at least one of these pregnancies may have been caused by birth control failure, such as a broken condom.
  • One in 10 women on birth control reported a perceived failure in the past year.

There are also some disconnects between women and their doctors, according to the polls. The majority of doctors said they routinely discuss contraception with women of reproductive age. But women said they bring this up more frequently than their doctors. The study frankly shows that it is time to change how doctors talk to women about their birth control choices.