Researchers Review Availability of Contraceptives at US College Health Facilities

Availability of Contraceptives at US College Health Facilities

Contraceptives at US College Health Facilities

Researchers collected data from various college universities throughout the United States to learn about contraceptive availability among college campus health centers.  The study included reviewing available types of contraceptives, emergency contraceptives and service availability for sexually transmitted infections.  Different factors were considered including college population, types of sexually transmitted diseases, demographics and more.  The findings may help develop additional health solutions for college campuses across the United States in the future.

Over 350 college campuses and universities were included in the study.  Before data was collected researchers obtain special permission from colleges and universities to obtain information.  This included mailing and emailing questionaries’ to over 1000 colleges and universities.  358 of the questionaries’ were returned to researchers.  Information collected from colleges and universities that participated in the study included a wide range of topics regarding sexual health services provided through their student health center. Topics assessed included prescription and non-prescription contraceptives, sexual transmitted infection (STI) vaccines offered (such as Hepatitis B and HPV), testing availabilities for STI’s, and post-sexual assault services.

The types of colleges and universities that participated in the study include those that offer master, associates, professional, doctoral and baccalaureate degrees.  Several of the institutions were all female, historical black colleges and universities and medical schools. Demographics of the schools included different backgrounds including suburbs, rural and small town information.  Types of schools included private and public institutions.

Data collected from the schools show a variety of contraceptives are made available to college and university students including vaginal rings, emergency contraceptive pills, oral contraceptives, cervical caps, diaphragms and more. Some schools may only choose to provide certain forms of contraceptives based on faith beliefs.   School populations seemed to have an effect on types of sexual health services offered according to research data.

For instance, a school with a student body population less than 10,000 may not offer as many different types of HIV testing as a school with 25,000 or more students.  Researchers have learned a variety of factors and came up with pertinent key points.  Data collected shows colleges and universities across the United States are adapting well to change when it comes to providing sexual health services.  Many schools have adapted to innovative solutions where sexual health is concerned. There were some findings researchers felt was below or less than what is expected.  Some health centers provide a limited amount of STI services and a higher than expected amount of schools provide mostly oral contraceptives such as the pill.  Less than half of the schools provide a considerable amount of non-hormonal contraceptive solutions.

Data collected provided significant insight regarding a number of sexual services being provided.  This study was in line with findings made from similar studies conducted in the past. There are big differences noticed in which schools offer condoms and how many are distributed annually.  In recent years the Supreme Court has passed prevention provisions for colleges and universities; findings from studies such as this one will provide benchmarks in making sure contraceptive and STI services are made available to students.

According to this research, more than 70.8% of college students have had vaginal, oral and anal sex with at least one partner over the last 12 months. Among these active students 60.6% used birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. 16% of participants had used emergency contraceptive pills within the last 12 months.

Hormonal, and Non-Hormonal Contraception Prescriptions

 Hormonal Contraceptive type

Oral Contraceptive Pill





Progestin 249 69.7
Vaginal Ring 222 62.2
Transdermal Patch 201 56.3
Emergency Contraceptive Pill (by Prescription) 189 52.9
Progestin Only Pill 187 52.4
Emergency Contraceptive Pill (Without Prescription) 186 52.1
Hormonal Intrauterine Device 83 23.2
Hormonal Implant 27 7.6
Diaphragm 138 38.7
Fertility Awareness Method 127 35.6
Cervical Cap 54 15.1
Copper Intrauterine Device 41 11.5