Contraceptive pill looses ground

23/02/2004 10:00

Two thirds of all Dutch women aged between 18 and 45 used some kind of contraceptive method in 2003. About 8 percent was pregnant or wanted to become pregnant, 8 percent was infertile and 17 percent did not use contraceptives for different reasons.

The most popular contraceptive is the pill. In 2003 about 41 percent of all women aged between 18 and 45 used the pill. The pill is especially popular among women aged between 20 and 24, with two thirds of this age group using it in 2003.

Women aged 18–45 by contraceptive method, 2003

Women aged 18–45 by contraceptive method, 2003

Fewer women taking the pill

Between 1998 and 2003 the use of the pill dwindled. There was a 10 percent drop in use among women aged 25–34 of this contraceptive. The decrease is due to the increase in the age at which women have children. The number of women aged about thirty who were pregnant in 2003 or who wanted to have children was 5 percentage points up from 1998.

Sterilised women and women with a sterilised partner, by birth generation 2003

Sterilised women and women with a sterilised partner, by birth generation 2003

Sterilisation later in life

The proportion of women born in the late sixties who is either sterilised or has a sterilised partner is smaller than the corresponding proportion of women born in the fifties or early sixties. This may well be due to the fact that women have children at a later age.

Women by contraceptive method, 2003

Women by contraceptive method, 2003

Partner in bed or for a relationship

Having a steady relationship has a great deal of influence on the use of contraceptives. Three quarters of the women aged between 18 and 45 who are in a relationship used some form of contraceptive in 2003. One in ten women with a steady relationship was pregnant or wanted to be pregnant, 8 percent was infertile and 8 percent did not use any contraceptives for different reasons.

Some 44 percent of the women in the same age group without a steady partner in 2003 used a contraceptive method. About 8 percent was infertile and almost have used no contraceptives.

Arie de Graaf

Source: StatLine (Dutch only)