OBJECTIVES: Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) methods are highly effective in reducing the incidence of unwanted pregnancy. Recent data indicates that the rate of abortion in Grampian, North East of Scotland is above the Scottish average and LARC uptake among young women low. This study sought to explore young women's perceptions of LARC, with the aim of developing a strategy to increase LARC uptake.
STUDY DESIGN: Qualitative study.
METHODS: Sixty five women aged 16-24 were randomly recruited to this qualitative study from community centres and shopping areas. Recruitment and interviews were conducted in friendship pairs, triads or one-to-one basis. Participants were asked about current and past contraception use, views of contraception methods including LARC; and sources of information about contraception. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis.
RESULTS: Women interviewed were aware of some of the delivery systems used for long acting contraception (intrauterine devices, implants and injections) but did not recognise them as 'LARC'. 'Long acting' was equated with permanency and the term 'reversible' appeared to have the opposite effect to its intention. Intrauterine devices were commonly referred to as 'coil'. The women often relied on verbal testimonies from those who had experienced using LARC, many of which were negative and inaccurate. A lack of in-depth knowledge about LARC and the opinion that LARC methods were for older women were also cited as barriers to use.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that negative testimonies and the belief that LARC are not appropriate for young women may discourage LARC uptake.
- Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
- Intrauterine Devices
- Qualitative Research
- Young Adult