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30-01-2011 | Gynaecology | Article

Frequent mental distress affects contraceptive use among women


Free abstract

MedWire News: Study results show that women who experience frequent mental distress (FMD) are more likely to use permanent contraception over reversible methods, prompting the researchers to call for consideration of mental health during contraceptive counseling.

The team also found that low-income women with FMD were more likely to use less effective (eg, diaphragm, sponge, withdrawal) rather than more effective (eg, intrauterine device, hormonal contraceptives) reversible contraceptive methods.

A total of 48,536 US women completed an interview concerning mental health and contraception use, with 14 days or more of poor mental health during the previous 30 days considered as FMD.

More than 13 percent of participants reported FMD, and the overall majority of women used contraception (86 percent with FMD, 87 percent without).

Women with FMD most often used permanent contraception (tubal ligation, partner vasectomy; 39 percent), while women without FMD most often used highly effective, reversible contraception (42 percent).

Multivariate analysis adjusted for income revealed that lower-income women were a respective 46 and 40 percent less likely to use highly and moderately effective, reversible contraceptive methods than less effective methods.

"All providers of contraception, especially those serving low-income women, should consider a woman's mental health when counseling about contraception," conclude Sherry Farr and colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Sarah Guy