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Accidentally-on-purpose: findings from a qualitative study exploring pregnancy intention and long-acting reversible contraceptive use


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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