Who uses LARC methods?
Awarded 2010
Large Research Grants
Megan Kavanaugh, DrPH, MPH
Guttmacher Institute

Americans have an “undermet” need for contraception: While most have access to modern methods, not all use a method that may be ideal for their particular life circumstance, resulting in substantial numbers of unintended pregnancies. The use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), such as IUDs and implants, has been identified as one potentially effective way to reduce the unintended pregnancy rate in the US. Use of such methods has likely increased during the recent period, but data are not currently available to confirm this. It would be useful to know who does and (perhaps equally interestingly) who does not make use of such methods, so that these methods can be introduced to populations who would greatly benefit from them. In order to assess uptake of LARC, we propose an analysis of new data from the 2006–08 round of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which will become available in the spring of 2010. The NSFG has detailed information on current method use, including type of method and dual use. We will examine the prevalence of long-acting methods; look at the sociodemographic, attitudinal, and behavioral correlates of LARC use; look at changes in both prevalence and correlates of use between 2002 and 2006–08; and perform multivariate analyses to determine the characteristics that are most strongly associated with use or nonuse of long-acting methods. By doing so, we aim to provide information to the field that can help identify women who are making use of these highly effective methods, as well as those who are not, and better understand the attitudes and behaviors associated with use of long-acting methods.