The contraceptive use of women in the 35-39 and 40-44 age groups living in Italy, France, Great Britain, Spain, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Austria, and Sweden is examined. Data were derived from 7 national surveys carried out between 1984 and 1987 by the International Health Foundation. A total of 9876 women aged 15-44 were administered a questionnaire containing questions on demographic information, socioeconomic factors, sexual activity, fertility, as well as current, past, and factor contraceptive use. Postponement of pregnancy while not using contraceptives was highest among women aged 35-39 in Italy (45%) and Sweden (23%). In Italy 30% of exposed women aged 15-44 used no method vs. 5% in Sweden. A higher rate of women aged 35-39 and 40-44 used no contraceptive or relied on rhythm and withdrawal in Italy (60% and 84%) and Spain (40% and 52%) than in Great Britain (17% and 13%) and Sweden (12% and 21%). A substantial percentage of French (25%) and Swedish (31%) women aged 35-39 were using IUDs. Male sterilization exceeded female sterilization only in the FRG (13% vs. 11%) and Austria (7.5% vs. 2.5%). Health and reliability were the most often cited reasons for future changing of contraceptive methods of exposed women aged 35-44. Among alleged advantages and disadvantages reliability, good for sex life, and unsafe for health scored highest. The pill was favored mostly by young women and couples, older women used it less and had more negative opinions about its health effects. Most rumors lacked scientific basis, therefore better education of the public is recommended.