Fewer women on the pill, IUDs more popular

19/06/2014 15:00

The use of the contraceptive pill has been high in the Netherlands for many years. In 2013 - just like a decade ago - two-thirds of women in the age category 18-44 were using a method to prevent them from becoming pregnant. Although the majority take the pill, the use has diminished and the IUD (intra-uterine device) is gaining popularity.

Pill still most popular contraceptive

The pill is still the most popular birth control method. Approximately 37 percent of women aged between 18 and 45 were on the pill in 2013. With more than six in every ten women, the use is widely spread among 18 to 24-year-olds.

More IUD users

The use of the pill has fallen in recent years; in 2003, 41 percent of women took the pill. The use of this contraceptive method declined by 10 percentage points among women in the age category 25-34. Sterilisation as a method to prevent pregnancy also became less popular. Last year, the number of sterilised male partners was noticeably lower than in 2003.
The use of IUDs among women in the age category 18-44 has in fact risen over the past decade; from 4 percent in 2003 to 12 percent in 2013.    

Women (aged 18-44) by contraceptive method

Women (aged 18-44) by contraceptive method  

Half of singles use contraceptive method

A permanent relationship affects the choice for a particular contraceptive method.  More than 70 percent of 18 to 44-year-old women with partners used a contraceptive method in 2013. Another 10 percent were pregnant or had the desire to become pregnant, 8 percent were infertile and 9 percent had other reasons not to use contraceptives.

More than 50 percent of women in the 18-44 age category without a permanent relationship used a contraceptive method in 2013, as against 40 percent in 2003. About 10 percent were infertile and one-third did not use contraceptives at all. Across all age groups, one-third did not use contraceptives. 

Share of women using birth control methods by type of relation, 2013

Share of women using birth control methods by type of relation, 2013

Arie de Graaf and Saskia te Riele