New Survey Data on Young People’s Access to Birth Control Information


New Survey Data on Young People’s Access to Birth Control Information

November 15, 2023
A woman stands and throws her head back laughing while surrounded by balloons.

Today—along with thousands nationwide—we’re celebrating our 11th annual Thanks, Birth Control Day! Attacks on basic sexual and reproductive health care have continued since the overturning of Roe more than a year ago. That is why it’s now more important than ever to talk openly and loudly about all that birth control makes possible. 

Each year in honor of #ThxBirthControl we conduct a survey with young people about birth control information, attitudes, and access in the US. This year’s results highlight opportunities to provide resonant information that can help young people achieve sexual and reproductive well-being. 

Of the 1,150 respondents age 15-29 years, about one-third (35%) had not received information about birth control in the prior 12 months. Young people are also not necessarily getting information from their preferred source. For example, 86% want to get birth control information from a health care provider yet only 43% reported receiving information from a doctor, nurse, or other provider in the past year. In addition, one-quarter (24%) of those age 15-19 say they don’t have enough information to decide about the birth control method(s) that is best for them. 

Overall, more than a quarter (28%) disagreed or strongly disagreed that hormonal birth control is safe. Among those who had not received information about birth control in the past year, one-third did not think hormonal birth control is safe.

Everyone deserves access to trustworthy, evidence-based information about birth control as well as access to the method that works best for them. Birth control is basic health care. And hormonal birth control is safe, effective, and has many benefits beyond pregnancy prevention. In fact, among survey respondents who ever used birth control, more than half (56%) indicated that they use or have used birth control to help manage periods. Two-fifths use or have used birth control to have a stress-free sex life. Cheers to that! 

Power to Decide’s is a trustworthy, evidence-informed source of sexual health information that can help address gaps in access to birth control information, and today marks a great opportunity to share it as a resource. 

Please join us on social media in saying #ThxBirthControl! Check out our toolkit and tell the world why you’re thankful for birth control and why you believe everyone deserves to love their method enough to say, “Thanks, birth control” too!