Trends in Receipt of Contraceptive Services: Young Women in the U.S., 2002–2015

Jennifer J. Frost, Guttmacher Institute Laura D. Lindberg, Rutgers School of Public Health

First published on American Journal of Preventive Medicine:

| DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2018.10.018
Abstract / Summary

In order to understand adolescent girls’ and young women's use of contraceptive services, this paper examines trends in receipt of contraceptive services, focusing on provider type and payment source.

The analysis uses nationally representative data from females aged 15–25 years in the 2002, 2006–2010, and 2011–2015 National Surveys of Family Growth. In 2018, summary measures for receipt of any contraceptive service, the type of provider visited and payment used were created and compared across survey years and age groups (15–17 and 18–25 years).

From 2002 to 2011–2015, the proportion of adolescent girls aged 15–17 years relying on publicly funded clinics for contraceptive care fell from 47% to 24% (95% CI=38.4%, 55.0% and 95% CI=19.0%, 29.9%), whereas the proportion relying on private providers increased from 49% to 69% (95% CI=40.7%, 57.1% and 95% CI=61.6%, 76.2%). A significant, but smaller, shift away from clinics occurred among women aged 18–25 years. Over the same period, use of health insurance to pay for contraceptive services among all females aged 15–25 years increased from 68% to 81% (95% CI=64.7%, 71.3% and 95% CI=78.5%, 83.8%), whereas the proportion who had private insurance during the year, but did not use it to pay for contraceptive care, declined from 21% to 9% (95% CI=18.3%, 23.5% and 95% CI=6.8%, 10.7%).

Private providers now provide the bulk of contraceptive services to adolescent girls and young women, with reduced reliance on publicly funded clinics. Supporting private practices in providing confidential and comprehensive family planning services must be a priority. Publicly funded clinics remain an important safety-net provider of contraceptive care for adolescent girls and young women.