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Obesity & Contraceptive Use Among Younger Women

Contraception; ePub 2017 Dec 5; Mosher, et al

Contraceptive use varies by body mass index (BMI) category among US women aged 20 to 44 years, with women who are obese more likely to rely on female sterilization, a recent study found. A national sample of 11,300 women in the 2011-2015 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) were interviewed and data from women ages 20-44 at risk of unintended pregnancy were analyzed. The primary dependent variable was BMI category. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios for 3 categories of contraceptive method were determined: female sterilization, intrauterine device (IUD), and hormonal contraception. Researchers found:

  • Women who are obese have higher odds of female sterilization (BMI 30.0-34.9 kg/m2: adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=1.96; BMI ≥35.0 kg/m2: aOR=1.56) vs women with normal BMI.
  • Odds of IUD use are significantly higher among women with BMI >35 kg/m2 (aOR=1.64).
  • Odds or hormonal contraceptive use are correspondingly reduced for women in the highest BMI category (aOR=0.78).


Mosher WD, Lantos H, Burke A. Obesity and contraceptive use among women 20-44 years of age in the United States: Results from the 2011-15 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). [Published online ahead of print December 5, 2017]. Contraception. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2017.11.007.