Behind the Steep Decline in Condom Usage

It looks like condoms may be falling out of fashion as the birth control method of choice. Newly released data reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics found that 24 percent of women and 34 percent of men said they’d used condoms during their last sexual intercourse, with 55 to 60 percent of both groups stating that condoms were their only form of contraception.

Researchers behind the study focused on an estimated 9,300 men and 11,300 women between the ages of 15 to 44. The time range for data collection was from the 2011-2015 U.S. National Survey of Family Growth, according to HealthDay.

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The data is especially disheartening for the researchers because, while other forms of contraception can act as birth control, condoms also protect from sexually transmitted infections.

“The use of condoms is a public health issue,” said Casey Copen, according to HealthDay. Copen is a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

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Copen continued saying that STIs can lead to long-term consequences, such as infertility, and that condoms, when used consistently and correctly, reduce the risk of HIV and STIs.

According to the CDC, 20 million new cases of STIs are diagnosed annually.

The data also showed that 25 percent of women and 33 percent of men used a combination of contraceptives to lessen their risks of both STIs and in heterosexual relationships, the risk of unwanted pregnancies.

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The researchers behind the data hope that the numbers will be a call to action to increase more availability and information flow on the importance of condom use.

By Vivian Nunez


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