Document Detail


Fertility and family planning in the United States: insights from the National Survey of Family Growth.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  3068068     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
A review of about 50 studies based on the 1982 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) illustrates the ways in which the survey sheds new light on trends and differentials in such areas as fertility, contraceptive use, infertility and the use of family planning services in the United States. The total fertility rate declined by nearly 50 percent between 1960 and 1973, from 3.6 to 1.9 births per woman, and changed little from then until 1982. It would appear that growing use of the pill, the IUD and sterilization--but principally the pill--is the prime factor in the dramatic decline in unwanted and mistimed births among married couples. Their increasing reliance on sterilization between 1973 and 1982 reduced the proportion of unwanted births at ages 35 or older by half, but had little impact on overall birthrates because only about five percent of all births occurred at those ages in 1981. Although overall fertility has declined, the rate of premarital pregnancy has risen since the early 1960s. Research based on the NSFG suggests that this is a result both of the rapid increase in the percentage of women who have premarital intercourse and of the increasing length of exposure to premarital pregnancy. The latter trend is probably related both to earlier intercourse and to delayed marriage. Despite the increasing levels of premarital exposure, however, there was actually a decline in teenage birthrates in the 1970s, which was due in part to the rising abortion rates among teenagers. Finally, although racial differences in fertility have narrowed, black women still have higher fertility than whites. The 1982 NSFG data suggest that four factors are principally responsible for the higher birthrates of black women: Blacks begin having intercourse earlier than whites; black women are one-third less likely to use contraceptives at first intercourse; they are more likely to be currently exposed to the risk of unplanned pregnancy and not using a method; and they have higher pregnancy rates when they are using no contraceptives or less-effective methods, such as the condom, rhythm and withdrawal.
The author has reviewed about 50 studies based on the 1982 National Survey of Family Growth to illustrate the ways in which the survey sheds new light on trends in fertility and infertility, and in the use of contraceptives and family planning services in the US. Some highlights of the data follow. 1) The total fertility rate dropped from 3.6 to 1.9 births per woman between 1960 and 1973, nearly a 50% decline; the figure has changed little from 1973 to 1982. 2) The growing use of the IUD sterilization, and particularly birth control pills is largely responsible for the dramatic decline in unwanted and mistimed births among married couples. Married couples' increasing reliance on sterilization between 1973 and 1982 reduced unwanted births at aged 35 or older by half; this has little real impact on overall birthrates because only about 5% of all births occurred to women 35+ in 1981. 3) Although overall fertility has declined since the early 1960s, the premarital pregnancy rate has risen. Research suggests that this a result of the rapid increase in the % of women who have premarital intercourse due to earlier intercourse and of the increasing length of exposure to premarital pregnancy due to delayed marriage. Rising abortion rates in the 1970s are partially responsible for a decline in teenage birthrates during the 1970s. 4) Black women still have higher fertility than whites. The 1982 data suggest that black women's higher birthrates are principally due to blacks having intercourse earlier than whites; black women being 1/3 less likely to use contraceptives at 1st intercourse; black women being more likely not to use birth control, resulting in increased exposure to the risk of unplanned pregnancy; and black women having higher pregnancy rates when they are using no contraceptives or less-effective methods, such as the condom, rhythm, and withdrawal.
Authors:
W D Mosher
Related Documents :
6317858 - Comparative trial of the contraceptive sponge and diaphragm. a preliminary report.
12255508 - Contraception in private practice: a 12 year experience.
12472998 - A clinical comparison of three powered toothbrushes.
4638848 - A study of contraception as related to unwanted pregnancy.
16031648 - N-acetyl- beta -d-glucosaminidase activity in the endometrial epithelium of the cow's u...
2127938 - Ivf in the nordic countries 1981-1987: a collaborative survey.
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Family planning perspectives     Volume:  20     ISSN:  0014-7354     ISO Abbreviation:  Fam Plann Perspect     Publication Date:    1988 Sep-Oct
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-04-14     Completed Date:  1989-04-14     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0241370     Medline TA:  Fam Plann Perspect     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  207-17     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Adolescent
Adult
African Americans
Birth Rate
Family Planning Services / trends*
Female
Fertility*
Humans
Population Surveillance
United States
Vital Statistics

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


Previous Document:  Development of hypothalamic obesity in growing rats.
Next Document:  Abortion in context: historical trends and future changes.