Low-income women under-use contraception, study finds


Many low-income women from medically underserved communities either do not use contraception or use the least effective methods available, suggests a new study published in JOGNN. The findings provide the most current data on low-income women's contraception practices, as health care providers seek to reduce unintended pregnancies as part of the Healthy People 2020 initiative. Researchers conducted phone interviews with 110 women recruited from three low-income neighborhoods in the U.S. and found that only about two-thirds (63.6%) were currently using contraception, and almost half of the women had had unprotected sex in the past year. Further, the most commonly used contraceptive in the past year was condoms (28.2%), the least effective type. The authors noted that effective (mostly long-acting) methods require a provider's prescription in some states, which could present access problems for women without health insurance. Thus, they say, it is critical for nurses and other health care providers to provide referrals for low-income women to community resources and promote access to health insurance programs that cover contraception. Read the abstract.

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