Research: more Australian women using IUDs and implants

Recent Roy Morgan research has found that over 2.5 million Australian women are aged 18-49 (47.9 per cent) are using some type of contraception. The pill (OCP) is the most common, but use is declining a bit, with IUDs and hormonal implants gaining popularity. Condoms saw a bit of a lull, but are also increasing in use.

Almost half of all Australian women using contraception in the 12 months to June 2008 used the oral contraceptive pill (OCP), however that figure is now 44.5 per cent. The use of condoms over the same period has decreased from 36.6 per cent to 34.4 per cent, with a low of 32.5 per cent in December 2014.

The intrauterine device (IUD) has seen a surge in popularity, with 9.9 per cent of Australian women using contraceptives using this device. This almost double 2008 numbers. Implanon, a hormonal implant the size of a matchstick implanted in the upper arm, now accounts for 9.5 per cent of women using contraceptives.

Condoms and the pill far outweigh the other forms of birth control. The withdrawal method remains the least popular method of birth control, and use has remained steady.

Younger women (18-24-year-olds) are using implants more, having doubled their numbers up to 14.2 per cent from just 7.2 per cent in 2008. This group has also dropped their condom use by about 10 per cent, with the use of the pil also decreasing by 5 per cent.

In women aged 25-34 (the most likely group to use contraception), more and more are using IUDs and hormonal implants as their favoured contraception.

Those in the 35-49 age group are now enjoying the benefits of IUDs, rising from 8.5 per cent to 15.5 per cent. Condom use has increased in this group about 2 per cent, and the pill usage has dropped 3 per cent.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2007 – June 2015 (n=16,443). Base: Australian women 18-49 who use contraception (NB: Only the 5 most popular methods of the 10 measured are shown.)