Online Program

Are women who use birth control for non-contraceptive reasons more likely to use it consistently?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Rachel Jones, PhD, Research Division, Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
Laura Lindberg, Ph D, Research Division, Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
Approximately 14% of women who use the oral contraceptive pill rely on it only non-contraceptive purposes, and 58% use it for reasons in addition to preventing pregnancy. We use data from a nationally representative sample of 4,634 sexually experienced women aged 18-39 (in November-December of 2012) to determine if women who use hormonal methods for these types of reasons use contraception more consistently. Preliminary analyses reveal that about half of women using hormonal contraception, 54%, were using it for non-contraceptive reasons, most commonly to regulate their periods (39%) or reduce menstrual pain (32%). Women who indicated that they were using hormonal methods to prevent pregnancy were slightly more likely to have used the method consistently in the last 30 days (76%) than were women who used it for other reasons (69-73%); however, these disparities largely disappeared when IUD users were excluded. Logistic regression models suggest that once basic demographic characteristics are taken into account, women who use hormonal methods for any non-contraceptive reason are less likely to use them consistently than women who do not identify such benefits. Women who relied on hormonal contraception only for purposes pregnancy prevention were no more or less likely to use the method consistently than women who identified other reasons. Subsequent analysis will explore the potentially mediating role of recent sexual activity as well as associations between specific non-contraceptive benefits and consistency of use and, finally, if non-contraceptive reasons for use are associated with satisfaction with hormonal methods.

Learning Areas:


Learning Objectives:
Describe how commonly women use hormonal contraception for reasons other than, or in addition to, pregnancy prevention. Assess whether women who rely on hormonal contraception for reasons other than pregnancy prevention are more likely to use their method consistently

Keyword(s): Contraception, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research on domestic reproductive health issues for over 13 years, including serving as PI on several large, national surveys.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.