September, 11 2013
Virtually all sexually active women in the United States have used contraception, but according to a National Health Statistics Report, most unplanned pregnancies occur among women who are not using birth control or are using it inconsistently. Why would a woman not use contraception even though she doesn't want to get pregnant? And what can be done to help her prevent an unplanned pregnancy?
According to the report, the #1 reason women in the U.S. cite for not using a birth control method when they conceived their unplanned births, is that they "didn't think they could get pregnant" at that time (36%).
Other reasons include ...
concerns about side effects of birth control (14%); and
not expecting to have intercourse (17%)
Why is this important?
95% of the 3.2 million unintended pregnancies each year in the United States occur among women who use contraception inconsistently or not at all. Worldwide there are more than 210 million unplanned pregnancies each year.
How can CycleBeads help address the issues women say they aren't using birth control?
1. Did not think you could get pregnant.
Many women misjudge their risk of pregnancy and simply don't know which days they are most likely to get pregnant. Several studies recently have shown that most women have no idea when they are likely to get pregnant.
By keeping track of her cycles with CycleBeads, a woman can easily see which days she is at risk of pregnancy. There is no guessing or calculations. She knows that when she is on days 8-19 of her cycle, she should consider herself fertile.
2. Worried about side effects of birth control.
A recent CDC report showed that 1/3-1/2 of women who use a hormonal method, discontinue using their hormonal birth control due to side effects. As a natural method, CycleBeads is side-effect free. Nothing is ingested and no chemicals or devices are inserted into her body.
3. Not expecting to have intercourse.
For women who are not having intercourse frequently, it can be difficult to justify taking birth control regularly. They may not see it as worthwhile to pay for it or to manage the side effects. CycleBeads helps a woman keep in touch with her fertility cycle and be prepared when the occasion for sex arises. It doesn't necessarily require that she do something daily, rather that she track the first day of her period each month. On any given day, she can check which day she is on and know if it is a day when she could get pregnant. She can then act accordingly whether that means to use a condom or to abtain.
Other reasons for not using contraception mentioned in the study included partner opposition. 8% of women said that their male partner "did not like" using contraception (i.e., a condom) and 5% said that their partner was against the woman herself using contraception. CycleBeads helps encourage male involvement and has been found to be a great communication tool for couples. It help couples discuss fertility and their interest in having a baby or not. CycleBeads can also help facilitate condom use; it helps couples know when it's most important to use a condom to avoid pregnancy. While CycleBeads is not an appropriate birth control method for women who are in a relationship where the male partner is unwilling to work with her to manage her fertile days, it can help many couples who simply don't "like" using birth control.
Interestingly international studies find that women cite similar reasons to women in the U.S. for not using contraception at the time of conception, though they are somewhat more likely to mention side effects and the unwillingness of a male partner.
The reasons why a woman might not use contraception can be complex and challenging. It's important to recognize that these are serious issues and no single product or method is going to meet the needs of every individual. However, CycleBeads can address these issues for many women who are at risk for an unplanned pregnancy - providing them with a side-effect free, easy-to-use family planning method that helps them discuss their fertility with their partners, initiate condom use if appropriate, use periodic abstinence effectively if preferred, and plan for their fertile days.
National Health Statistics Reports, Intended and Unintended Births in the United States: 1982 - 2010
USAID, DHS Analytical Studies 28, Unmet Need for Modern Contraceptive Methods
The Alan Gutttmacher Institute, Unplanned Pregnancy Common Worldwide, Facts on Unintended Pregnancies in the U.S. Sept 2013
CDC, Contraceptive Methods Women Have Ever Used
Posted in: Birth Control Options, Contraceptive Options, CycleBeads, Fertility Awareness, Womens Health
Tags: contraception, birth control, unintended pregnancy, unintended birth, condom use
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