Sexual Health news - Sex, Love and Relationships

What happened to using birth control to prevent pregnancy?

In today's America, there are many forms of birth control and contraceptives to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as chlamydia, genital herpes and HIV. Despite the availability of these resources, 37 percent of babies born in America are unplanned, according to the National Survey of Family Growth, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics.

The results from the study revealed that 60 percent of participants who had an unplanned birth was because they had not used contraception. In addition, the survey suggests that the reason this occurs is that most couples don't fully understand how strongly sex is connected to having a baby. Despite not using birth control, some women believe that getting pregnant and having an unwanted childbirth wouldn't happen to them.

"There are 290,000 babies born each year to mothers who believed their coming into existence was a statistical improbability," The Atlantic reported on the survey. 

Approximately 50 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. are accidental, as reported by the study. Surveyed women who categorize their pregnancy as "unwanted" reported that the reason why they did not use birth control was primarily because their partner did not want to.

The study also showed that women whose pregnancies were unplanned were more likely to not receive prenatal care during their first trimester, when compared to those who tried to get pregnant. Unintended pregnancies tend to occur more to mothers with fewer resources to support the child. This may result in a greater reliance on Medicaid.

The good news is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act now covers female birth control, STD testing, counseling and offers preventative services to over 47 million women in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is the first time ever that women will have access to free care, which may reduce the likelihood of pregnancy or STDs.