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Accidentally-on-purpose: findings from a qualitative study exploring pregnancy intention and long-acting reversible contraceptive use
  1. Jacqueline Coombe,
  2. Melissa L Harris,
  3. Deborah Loxton
  1. Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Jacqueline Coombe, Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia; jacqueline.coombe{at}uon.edu.au

Abstract

Background Although it is known that pregnancy intention impacts contraceptive use, there has been little exploration into the relationship between pregnancy intention and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) non-use in the Australian context.

Methods Semi-structured telephone interviews with a sample of participants from the Contraceptive Use, Pregnancy Intention and Decisions (CUPID) Study were conducted in 2016.

Results Of the 59 women contacted, 15 participated in an interview. One theme arising from these interviews is reported here. Results from the analysis suggest that women with ambivalent or unclear plans toward pregnancy were less likely to perceive LARC as a suitable method for them. Conversely, women who clearly intended to avoid pregnancy and who had clear plans for future pregnancy valued these methods, and often framed their future plans for pregnancy within the context of their chosen LARC.

Conclusions Findings presented demonstrated the complex relationship between pregnancy intention and contraceptive use. In particular, this study provided insight into the complex notion of pregnancy ambivalence. Dichotomous definitions of pregnancy as intended or unintended were found to be inadequate in encapsulating actual reproductive experiences.

  • long-acting reversible contraception
  • qualitative research

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Footnotes

  • Contributors MLH and DL were investigators on the initial CUPID Study. JC, MLH and DL devised the design of the sub-study and JC conducted the interviews, analysed the resultant data and drafted the manuscript. MLH and DL supervised the study progress, assisted with data analysis and provided intellectual input into the paper. All authors read and approved the manuscript prior to submission.

  • Funding JC is a PhD student supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship. The authors gratefully acknowledge funding support from the Australian Research Council (Linkage Project Grant LP100200349), and industry partners Family Planning NSW and Bayer Australia Ltd. MLH was previously supported by the Australian Research Council through the above Linkage Project Grant and DL was a chief investigator.

  • Competing interests JC is a PhD student supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship. The research on which this paper is based was supported under the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects funding scheme (Project Number LP100200349). MLH was previously supported by the Australian Research Council through the above Linkage Project grant which involved some cash and in-kind support from the Partner Organisations, Family Planning NSW and Bayer Australia Ltd. DL was a chief investigator on this project.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There is no additional unpublished data from this qualitative study.

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