Familiarity and acceptability of long-acting reversible contraception and contraceptive choice

Rachel Paul, Bridget C. Huysman, Ragini Maddipati, Tessa Madden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Contraceptive choice is a preference-sensitive decision that is affected by contraceptive attributes, patient experience, and reproductive history. Familiarity with and acceptability of specific contraceptive methods may influence patient decisions. Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the acceptability of and previsit familiarity with long-acting reversible contraception (intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants) compared with depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate and oral contraceptive pills in women seeking contraceptive care and to investigate the relationship between acceptability and contraceptive choice. Study Design: This was a secondary analysis of a study that was designed to compare 2 contraceptive care programs conducted at 3 Midwest federally qualified health centers. After contraceptive counseling, participants completed a baseline interviewer-administered survey before the healthcare provider visit. We asked participants questions about previsit familiarity with and acceptability of the intrauterine device, implant, depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate, and oral contraceptive pills. We assessed familiarity using 2 questions: (1) Before today have you ever heard of the [method]? (2) Do you know any woman who has/has used the [method]? Acceptability was assessed for each method on a 0–10 scale, with 0 being “strongly dislike” and 10 being “strongly like.” We dichotomized the scores into high acceptability (7–10) and low/moderate acceptability (0–6) for analysis. We examined differences in demographic and reproductive characteristics between women with high and low long-acting reversible contraception acceptability using the chi-square test. We used univariate and multivariable Poisson regressions to examine the relationship among participants’ characteristics, method acceptability, and method choice. We adjusted for any covariate that changed the effect size of acceptability by >10%. Results: There were 1007 women included in the analysis: 900 women (89%) reported that they had heard of the intrauterine device, and 592 women (59%) knew someone who had used the intrauterine device. Eight hundred sixty-five (86%) women had heard of the implant, and 636 women (63%) knew someone who had used it. Knowledge of depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate and oral contraceptive pills was high (>98% for both). Five hundred seventy-six women (57%) found 1 or both long-acting reversible contraception methods highly acceptable. Women with high long-acting reversible contraception acceptability were more likely to be adolescents or aged 30–45 years, white, Hispanic, married/cohabitating, and uninsured and were less likely to desire a child in the next 1–3 years. They were more likely to desire a hormonal intrauterine device (90.5% vs 9.5%), copper intrauterine device (81.1% vs 18.9%), or implant (89.8% vs 10.2%) compared with women with low acceptability (P<.001). In adjusted analyses, women with high acceptability of an intrauterine device were more likely to desire an intrauterine device (adjusted relative risk, 9.62; 95% confidence interval, 6.42–14.42). Women with high acceptability of an implant were also more likely to desire one (adjusted relative risk, 8.74; 95% confidence interval, 6.17–12.38). Women were more likely to desire an intrauterine device or an implant if they knew someone who used the method. Previous use of the method and demographic factors were not associated with method choice. Conclusion: Previsit familiarity with intrauterine devices and implants was high in our federally qualified health centers population, although not as high as depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate and oral contraceptive pills. In adjusted analyses, women who found an intrauterine device or implant highly acceptable and who knew someone who had used the method were more likely to choose those respective methods at the end of their visit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S884.e1-S884.e9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • acceptability
  • contraceptive counseling
  • implant
  • intrauterine device
  • long-acting reversible contraception


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