Understanding consistent contraceptive use is associated with pregnancy avoidance among US women, however, positive feelings regarding pregnancy do not necessarily contradict a desire to avoid contraception, a recent study found. Data from a national sample of 2,894 women aged 18 to 39 years were measured at baseline and 6 months later and used to examine a measure of pregnancy avoidance (cognitive) and a measure of happiness about pregnancy (affective), both separately and jointly. Researchers found:
- 53% of women indicated it was very important to avoid pregnancy, while 23% would have been very unhappy to be pregnant.
- In an evaluation including both measures, only pregnancy avoidance was associated with consistent contraceptive use.
- Cognitive attitude was less likely than affective attitude to change over time.
- Change in pregnancy avoidance, but not happiness, was associated with changes in consistent contraceptive use.
Jones RK. Change and consistency in U.S. women’s pregnancy attitudes and associations with contraceptive use. [Published online ahead of print January 27, 2017]. Contraception. doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2017.01.009.