• Contraception Use Among Women in an Urban Clinic

      Melcher-Post, Jesselyn Rose; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Molina, John (The University of Arizona., 2011-03)
      4 Abstract Ninety-nine percent of all sexually active women recently surveyed in the United States had at some point used at least one form of contraception (Mosher and Jones 2010). A great variety of contraceptive methods are available, and many factors, including side effects, reversibility, medical advice, lifestyle, culture, religion, and partner preference, play a role in each individual’s method of choice. While each woman chooses a method for her own reasons, trends often emerge within particular groups of women. Despite the wide usage and availability of contraception in the US, approximately 50% of pregnancies are unplanned. Some populations are at a higher risk of unintended pregnancies, including those with low income, less education, ethnic minorities and women at either end of the reproductive spectrum. Although data from the United States Centers for Disease Control indicates that women of all ethnicities use contraception at a relatively equal rate, socioeconomic disparities impede successful contraceptive use among some women. The purpose of this study is to understand how female patients at a community health clinic in central Phoenix manage their reproductive health. The majority of patients served by this clinic have a low income and are Hispanic. One objective of the study is to determine what contraceptive methods these patients are currently using. A second is to ascertain what factors are important to these women when choosing contraception. The overarching purpose of the study is to allow health care providers to better understand how these individuals make choices related to contraception and what influences their decisions. A total of 204 women between the ages of 18 and 45 who had scheduled appointments at the Wesley Health Center were given a self -administered survey. Surveys were completed during April of 2010, and contained questions regarding demographic information, number of pregnancies and live births, past and present use of contraception and contraceptive preferences. One hundred and ninety-seven of the 204 surveys were analyzed. Seventy four point six percent of all of the women were using at least one method to prevent pregnancy. Women used contraception at a relatively equal rate between age groups, but the 5 type of contraception a women was most likely to be using varied based on age. Reliability, comfort and ease of use were the factors that women identified as most important to them in determining which method to use. Although most women who were not currently trying to become pregnant were using contraception, it is unknown whether they are using the methods effectively. Additionally, the way in which many surveys were filled out indicated lack of understanding regarding contraceptive options in general. It is important that health care providers take time to educate each woman individually about options that are available to her, and ensure understanding regarding proper use of her method of choice.