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Contraception for adolescents with disabilities: taking control of periods, cycles and conditions
  1. Jane Dickson1,
  2. Annette Thwaites2,
  3. Lesley Bacon1
  1. 1 Contraception and Sexual Health, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Contraception and Sexual health, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jane Dickson, Contraception and Sexual Health, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Market Street Health Centre, London SE18 6QR, UK; jane.dickson{at}


The onset of puberty, periods and sexual relationships can be difficult for adolescents and parents. Adolescents with disabilities face a wide range of additional challenges (physical, mental, social and intellectual), which may impact the quality of their lives and those of their families and carers. Research on the use of contraception in young women with disabilities is limited, and clinicians have little practical guidance for best practice. This review article aims to summarise and assess the evidence and guidance for the use of contraception in this group, particularly with regard to management of menstrual and cyclical problems. Multidisciplinary teamwork is important for recognising and addressing the concerns of patients and their carers effectively. The legal and ethical considerations are also highlighted here, as this group of adolescents is highly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse.

  • adolescent
  • disability
  • hormonal contraception
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  • Contributors JD is the lead author. AT undertook the literature search and all three authors contributed to the development and authorship of the article.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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