Clinical Edge

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Barriers to Postpartum Contraception

Unintended pregnancies examined

Women who encountered a barrier to obtaining their preferred contraceptive method were more likely to become pregnant <24 months after delivery than those women who experienced no barrier. This according to a cohort study of 403 postpartum women who wanted to delay childbearing for at least 2 years. Study results determined:

• Two-thirds of women (n=377) at 6 months postpartum experienced a barrier to accessing their preferred method of contraception.

• By 24 months postpartum, 89 women reported a pregnancy of which 71 were unintended.

• Between 6 and 24 months postpartum, 77 of 377 women became pregnant with 56 lost to follow-up.

• Women who encountered a barrier to obtaining their preferred method had a cumulative risk of pregnancy of 34% as compared with 12% for women with no barrier.

Citation: Potter JE, Hubert C, Stevenson AJ, et al. Barriers to postpartum contraception in Texas and pregnancy within 2 years of delivery. [Published online ahead of print January 7, 2016]. Obstet Gynecol. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001201.