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CDC Data Reflects Trends in Planned Parenthood Patients

New York, NY — Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on the use of long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC) methods among women in the U.S. The report found that use of LARC methods — which include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants — increased nearly fivefold in the last decade among women aged 15-44, from 1.5% in 2002 to 7.2% in 2011-2013. LARC method use is most common among women aged 25-34.

“This report shows that more women are choosing the IUD and implant, which are great birth control options for women who want the best possible pregnancy prevention and aren’t yet ready to start a family,” said Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood Federation of America senior director of medical services. “IUDs and implants are safe for most women, including adolescents and women who have not yet had children, and they are an especially good option for young women who want to delay starting their families for a few years, so they can be the best parents they can be.

“At Planned Parenthood, we offer every woman the full range of contraceptive options — including the IUD and the implant — and information to help her make an informed decision about which method is best for her. IUDs and implants have extremely low failure rates — less than one percent — which rival the rates seen with permanent birth control. And unlike permanent birth control, your ability to get pregnant returns quickly once the device is removed.

“Long-acting reversible contraception doesn’t require women to remember to do something every day, or just before intercourse, or once a month, or even every three months to prevent pregnancy, like taking the pill or other methods.  Once an IUD or implant is inserted, you can pretty much just forget about it.

“It’s important for people of all ages to remember that these methods don’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, so using condoms in addition to another form of birth control is the best way to prevent both pregnancy and STDs.

“Planned Parenthood wants all women to have the information and resources they need to prevent unintended pregnancy, meet their life goals, and start their families when the time is right for them. We hope this report helps raise awareness about the safety and efficacy of IUDs and implants among women of all ages.”

Since 2009, Planned Parenthood health centers have seen a 91% increase in the use of IUDs and implants, with IUD use increasing 57% and contraceptive implants growing 361%. From 2012 to 2013, Planned Parenthood saw a 38% increase in patients with contraceptive implants and a 12% increase in patients with IUDs.

Every year, Planned Parenthood provides family planning counseling and contraception to 2.1 million patients. Planned Parenthood offers women information and education on the full range of birth control options to help them make informed decisions about which contraceptive method is best for them. Planned Parenthood always provides patients with information about the benefits and risks of any specific birth control method and answers any questions they may have when helping each woman choose the method that’s best for her.

Report Findings:

  • Use of LARC methods declined between 1982 and 1988, remained stable through 2002, and then increased nearly fivefold in the last decade among women aged 15-44, from 1.5% in 2002 to 7.2% in 2011-2013.
  • The percentage of women using LARC methods has remained highest among women aged 25-34, with more than twice as many women aged 25-34 (11.1%) using LARC methods in 2011-2013 compared with women aged 15-24 (5.0%) and aged 35-44 (5.3%).
  • After decreasing between 1982 and 1988 and remaining stable from 1988 through 1995, LARC method use patterns diverged among Hispanic, non-Hispanic white, and non-Hispanic black women.
  • Women who have had at least one birth use LARC methods at a higher rate compared with women who have had no previous births, and this difference has increased over time.

Background on LARC methods:

  • Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods like the IUD and implant are the most effective methods of birth control available.
  • LARC methods are safe and effective for a wide variety of women, including those who have not yet had children.
  • LARC methods are also the most cost-effective methods of birth control, since they can provide coverage for up to 12 years.
  • IUDs and implants now represent the third most commonly used category of reversible contraceptives among women ages 25-44, after the pill (19%) and condom (13%). 
  • A new study in the journal Contraception found that 42% of women’s health care providers use a LARC method like IUDs and the contraceptive implant, compared to just 12% of women in the general population.
  • Up-front cost can be a barrier for some women interested in using a LARC method. An IUD typically costs between $500 and $1,000, which covers the exam, insertion, and follow-up visit. Under the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, millions more women now have access to no-copay birth control, including LARC methods.
  • Data published in 2012 from the Contraceptive CHOICE study showed that access to birth control counseling and methods without cost-sharing — as in the Affordable Care Act's birth control benefit — leads to significantly lower rates of unintended pregnancy. The full study followed more than 9,200 women and teens over four years, and found that when women have full information about the different types of birth control and full coverage of the cost of the method they select, many will choose IUDs or implants. Seventy-five percent of participants chose a LARC method, a much greater rate than originally predicted.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment.  Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


February 24, 2015