Purpose: Two populations with different socio-demographic characteristics reside in southern Israel: the traditional Muslim Bedouin population and the Jewish population that leads a western lifestyle. The aim of the study was to assess the rate, pattern, and dynamics of the use of contraception in these two ethnic populations from 2006 to 2016 and to identify factors associated with the practice of effective and safe contraception. Methods: A retrospective study based on a computerized medical database. We recorded actual purchases of different forms of contraception by women of childbearing age (15–49 years) from the two populations in the southern Negev region of Israel. Results: Contraceptives were purchased by 7588 Bedouin women and 30,482 Jewish women. The rate of purchase ranged from 5.2 to 9.7% in the Bedouin sector and from 12.9 to 28.2% in the Jewish sector. Oral contraceptives were the most common type. In the Jewish sector, their use remained relatively stable over the years. In the Bedouin sector, in contrast, the rate increased. The only factor that was associated with the use of intrauterine devices was age (OR = 1.063, P < 0.001). Among women who used combined hormonal contraception, Jewish ethnicity (OR = 5.835, P < 0.001), age (OR = 0.926, P < 0.001), and comorbidity (OR = 0.87, P = 0.001) were associated with the use of newer, low-dose estrogen drugs. Conclusions: Our findings, such as the lower rate of contraception practice in the Bedouin sector in general and the use of the new and safer hormonal contraceptives in particular, can help focus the efforts of medical teams in programs for women’s health promotion.
- Ethnic groups