Background Women commonly report changing contraceptive methods because of side-effects. However, there is a lack of literature that has thoroughly examined women's perspectives, including why they changed contraception.
Aim Using qualitative data from a contraceptive survey of young Australian women, we explored women's explanations for their recent changes in contraception.
Method A thematic analysis of 1051 responses to a question about why women recently changed contraception was conducted.
Results Themes reflected reasons for changing contraception which included: both contraceptive and non-contraceptive (4%); relationship/sexual (9%); medical (11%); contraceptive (18%); non-contraceptive (41%). A minority of responses were uncoded (17%). Non-contraceptive effects (effects unrelated to pregnancy prevention) featured most frequently in women's reasons for changing contraception.
Conclusions While cessation of various contraceptives due to unwanted side-effects is a well-known phenomenon, this analysis provides evidence of the changing of contraception for its non-contraceptive effects and reframes the notion of ‘side-effects’.
- qualitative analysis
- contraceptive discontinuation
- contraceptive changes
- young women
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Funding The research on which this paper is based was supported under the Australian Research Council's Linkage Projects funding scheme (Project Number LP100200349). We are grateful to the Australian Research Council and partner organisations, Family Planning NSW and Bayer Australia Ltd, for their financial support. There was no involvement from the financial partners in the preparation of this article, the analysis and interpretation of the data, the writing of the report or the decision to submit this article for publication.
Competing interests JCL is the Director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University. She receives funding from the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council. She has served as a Director of Family Planning Queensland and been Chief Investigator on an ARC Linkage Grant that involves cash and in-kind support from Family Planning New South Wales and Bayer Australia. The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society receives funding from diverse sources listed in the annual report available from the website: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs
Ethics approval From two university ethics committees (University of Queensland and University of Newcastle) and the Family Planning New South Wales ethics committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Please contact the authors for access to unpublished data or research materials.
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