Sexual orientation-related differences in contraceptive use: a brief report based on a cohort of adolescent and young women

Brittany M. Charlton, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Colleen A. Reynolds, Boston Children's Hospital Elizabeth Janiak, Harvard Medical School Amy D. DiVasta, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School Rachel K. Jones, Guttmacher Institute Jorge E. Chavarro, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Vishnudas Sarda, Boston Children's Hospital S. Bryn Austin, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

First published on Contraception:

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Abstract / Summary

To examine contraceptive methods used by adolescent/young adult women of diverse sexual orientations.

Study Design
We collected data from 12,902 females, born 1982–1995, from the longitudinal Growing Up Today Study.

Compared to heterosexuals, lesbians were half as likely to use contraceptives; other sexual minority subgroups (e.g., bisexuals) were more likely to use any method, particularly long-acting reversible contraceptives.

Many sexual minority women use contraception throughout adolescence/young adulthood, though use is low among lesbians.

With limited contraception use, lesbians miss opportunities for care and need to be brought into the healthcare system in other ways.


United States