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21-02-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Contraceptive counseling promotes use among older women


Journal abstract

MedWire News: Nearly 15 percent of women aged 35-44 years do not use any form of contraceptive method, show researchers who also found that contraceptive counseling decreased the risk for nonuse by 80 percent.

Kristen Upson (University of Washington, Seattle, USA) and colleagues used data from the National Survey of Family Growth to identify factors associated with contraceptive nonuse at last sexual intercourse among 563 women aged 35-44 years at risk for unwanted pregnancy.

The researchers found that 14.1 percent of women reported not using any method of contraception at last intercourse. Contraceptive nonusers, as compared with contraceptive users, were significantly more likely to be aged 40-44 years (odds ratio [OR] = 2.0), foreign-born (OR = 4.3), black (OR = 2.8), and with low household incomes 100-249 percent of the federal poverty level (OR = 2.5).

In addition, contraceptive nonusers were more likely to report less frequent sexual intercourse (1-3 times in the past 4 weeks), more male sexual partners over their lifetime, no contraceptive counseling or pelvic exam in the past year, and discontinuing 50 percent or more of contraceptive methods ever used due to method dissatisfaction.

However, women who received contraceptive counseling in the past year had an 80 percent decreased risk for nonuse.

“Public health strategies to reduce unintended pregnancy, particularly among women aged 35 years and older, should focus on addressing disparities in contraceptive use and promoting contraceptive counseling,” conclude the researchers.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Ingrid Grasmo