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Fewer German women are taking the pill

September 19, 2019

A survey published on Thursday showed that fewer German women were taking the birth control pill than before, with condoms becoming more popular. The pill has been associated with health risks in recent years.

Woman holding a contraceptive pill blister
Image: picture-alliance/BSIP

A new survey published on Thursday revealed that fewer women in Germany are opting for the birth control pill as a method of contraception. The study reveals that the condom has almost caught up with the pill as the country's most preferred method of birth control.

The survey showed a 6% drop in the use of the pill since the last study in 2011. In the same time period condom usage increased by 9%.

The survey was carried out by the Federal Center for Health Education in Cologne. Many of the respondents report using both a condom and the pill, while other methods of contraception have retained similar levels of popularity.

Dr Heidrun Thaiss, leader of the Federal Center for Health Education also noted an increase in how well-informed people felt about contraception methods.

"Women and men feel better informed today about methods of contraception than ever before. That is a really positive development."

DW graphic showing the popularities of various contraception methods in Germany, according to a 2019 study run out of Cologne.

Health concerns

Health concerns have been raised in recent years concerning the effects of taking the pill.

Nearly half of respondents, 48%, said that they believed the hormonal side-effects of the pill could be damaging. Meanwhile, 55% rejected the statement that you could safely take the pill over a number of years.

The biggest decrease in pill usage came in younger women between the age of 18 and 29, with a 16% drop from 72% to 56%.

The coil was the next most popular method of contraception, used by 10% of the respondents.

The survey also asked respondents how informed they felt about different birth control methods. In 2018, 63% said they were "very well informed" about contraception, indicating a consistently positive trend over the last 15 years.

For women, the most important source of information about contraception came from gynecologists; for men, it was the internet.

The pill was first introduced in West Germany in 1961, the same year that the Berlin Wall was erected and within 10 years was taken regularly by over 30% of German women. However, in the last 15 years usage has decreased steadily.

The survey was taken in December 2018 by 992 sexually active men and women between the ages of 18 and 49.

ed/msh (epd, KNA) 

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