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Disability Status and Use of Contraception

Contraception; ePub 2018 Mar 26; Mosher, et al

Screening for self-reported cognitive and physical disabilities may allow healthcare providers to tailor counseling and sex education to help women with disabilities prevent unintended pregnancy, a recent study found. Researchers examined the relationship between disability status and use of contraception among 7,505 women at risk of unintended pregnancy using data from the 2011-2015 National Survey of Family Growth. They found:

  • Disability status was significantly associated with differences in 3 categories of use: female sterilization, the oral contraceptive pill, and non-use of contraception.
  • The use of female sterilization was higher among women with cognitive disabilities and physical disabilities vs those without disabilities, after controlling for age, parity, race, insurance coverage, and experience of unintended births.
  • Use of the pill was less common among women with physical disabilities vs those without disabilities.
  • Not using a method was more common among women with cognitive disabilities.


Mosher W, Hughes RB, Bloom T, Horton L, Mojtabai R, Alhusen JL. Contraceptive use of disability status: New national estimates from the National Survey of Family Growth. [Published online ahead of print March 26, 2018]. Contraception. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2018.03.031.