Most Catholic Women Use Birth Control 98% of sexually active Catholics use or used contraceptives By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Apr 14, 2011 2:07 PM CDT 33 comments Comments Most Catholic women don't rely on a condom; they use hormonal birth control, an IUD or sterilization. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The Catholic Church officially bans birth control—and that ban and a dollar will buy you a condom out of a vending machine. It turns out that a whopping 98% of sexually active Catholic women use or have used birth control, according to a new study from the Guttmacher reproductive health institute. The remaining 2% stuck to the church-approved “natural family planning” method, which involves tracking menstrual cycles in the hopes of having sex only during less-fertile periods. “In real-life America, contraceptive use and strong religious beliefs are highly compatible,” said the report’s lead author, according to Live Science. “Most sexually active women who do not want to become pregnant practice contraception and most use highly effective methods like sterilization, the pill, or the IUD.” The study also found that, regardless of religion, 75% of women are sexually active by their early 20s, even if they're not married.