Summary: 21% of Teen Women Using Contraception Will Be Pregnant Within Two Years of Beginning Use

The average failure rate for reversible contraceptives over a two-year period is 19% for all women. Various socioeconomic factors, including a woman's age, also affect contraceptive success.

  • Thirteen percent of women using reversible methods of contraceptives will experience contraceptive failure (e.g. pregnancy) in their first year of use and 8 percent in the second year of use. Contraceptive effectivness also varies based on four socioeconomic factors: women's age, union status (e.g. married, cohabiting, not in a union), poverty status, and race or ethnicity. Of women younger than 18 years old, 21.1% experience an unintended pregnancy (contraceptive failure) in the first two years of use.1

1Contraceptive Failure in the First Two Years of Use: Differences Across Socioeconomic Subgroups, Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 33, No. 1, January/February 2001.

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