Discouraging trends in reproductive health service use among adolescent and young adult women in the USA, 20022008

Kelli Stidham Hall, Caroline Moreau, James Trussell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background To investigate reproductive health service use by young women in the USA between 2002 and 2008. Methods Using data from two waves of The National Survey of Family Growth, we investigated reproductive health service utilization among women aged 1524 years (2002 n=2157; 20062008 n=2264). Descriptive and univariate statistics and multivariate regression models were employed to describe types of reproductive health services used and compare service use across years. Analyses focused on questions regarding specific recent use of reproductive health services (within the previous 12 months). ResultsOver half the pooled sample (n=4421) reported lifetime family planning clinic (58) and recent reproductive health service (59) use, including contraceptive (48), gynecological exam (47) and counseling (37) services. Lifetime family planning service use declined by 15 from 2002 to 2008 (P<0.001) and recent reproductive health service use by 8 (P=0.01), including gynecological exam (8, P = 0.03) and contraceptive (6, P = 0.02) services. By 20062008, women were less likely to use reproductive health and contraceptive services than in 2002 [odds ratio (OR) 0.6, confidence interval (CI) 0.5, 0.8, P< 0.001 and OR 0.7, CI 0.6, 0.9, P = 0.005, respectively]. Trends were similar but smaller in magnitude among the sexually experienced women, with a 5 decline in both reproductive health (OR 0.7, CI 0.6, 1.0, P = 0.02) and contraceptive (OR 0.8, CI 0.6, 1.0, P = 0.03) service use. Conclusions Reproductive health service use among young women in the USA has declined over the past decade. Public health and policy strategies are needed to promote service use, ultimately to improve reproductive health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2541-2548
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Reproductive health
  • family planning services
  • young womens health service utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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