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Ever used birth control pills

Codes and Frequencies

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For female sample adults ages 18 and older, BCPILLEV reports whether the respondent has ever used birth control pills (oral contraception).

BCPILLEV was first introduced in 1987 as part of a supplement on cancer epidemiology. For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function or drop-down menus.


In 1987 and 2000, respondents were asked specifically whether they had ever used birth control pills. Beginning in 2005, respondents were asked to choose any/all of the birth control methods they had used from a list, which included oral contraception (birth control pills). These changes do not appear to have impacted the comparability over time, but researchers may wish to use caution in making comparisons between years. See the Survey Text tab for more details.

Changes in survey design (e.g., quarters in which the supplement was collected) may affect raw frequencies, but do not affect comparability of the variable. Data users are reminded to use the prescribed IHIS weights in their analyses.


  • 1987: Half of female sample adults age 18+ (excluded from CACT).
  • 2000; 2005: Female sample adults age 18+.


  • 1987, 2000, 2005