The Association of Family Planning Methods With the Odds of Divorce Among Women in the 2015–2019 National Survey of Family Growth

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Taylor & Francis

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Journal of Divorce & Remarriage

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DOI: 10.1080/10502556.2023.2179837


We sought to determine the influence of the most common methods of contraception and natural methods of family planning (NFP) on the odds of divorce among women of reproductive age. The influence of use of family planning methods and other factors on risk of divorce was examined in 5,403 ever-married women from the National Survey of Family Growth (2015–2019). Chi-square and relative risk odds ratios (ORs) of divorce were calculated for the family planning predictor variables (ever-use vs. never-use). Logistic regression analysis examined the influence of family planning methods relative to other known influencers of divorce (income, education level, etc.). Chi-square analysis revealed significant (p < .01–p < .001) ORs for ever-use of the hormonal pill (OR = 1.54), female and male sterilization (ORs = 1.78 and 2.02, respectively), male condoms (OR = 1.67), and natural methods of family planning (OR = 0.66, 0.53). Logistic regression indicated ever-use of contraception was associated with increased odds of divorce, from 30% to 200%, whereas ever-use of NFP was associated with 31% lower odds. Poverty level and education levels did not meaningfully influence divorce odds. In conclusion, ever-married women who have ever used NFP have lower odds of divorce, whereas those who have ever used most the common contraceptives have higher odds of divorce. Further research is needed to understand how and why choices in family planning affect stability of marriage.


Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, Vol. 64, No. 1 (2023): 55-66. DOI.