Clinical Edge

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Impact of Postpartum Contraception

Can it help reduce preterm births?

Improving postpartum contraceptive use has the potential to reduce preterm births and adverse birth outcomes, according to a cohort study of 111,949 women from California who were seen at least once by a Medi-Cal or Family PACT provider within 18 months of delivery. The length of contraceptive coverage was determined through applying an algorithm based on the specified method and the quantity dispensed, and preterm birth was defined as a birth occurring before 37 weeks gestation. Study results included:

• 9.75% of the cohort has a preterm birth.

• Contraceptive coverage was found to be protective against preterm birth.

• Odds of a preterm birth less than 37 weeks decreased by 1.1% for every month of contraceptive coverage.

Citation: Rodriguez MI, Chang R, Thiel De Bocanegra H. The impact of postpartum contraception on reducing preterm birth: findings from California. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. [Published online ahead of print July 25, 2015]. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2015.07.033.