Sociodemographic characteristics associated with the use of effective and less effective contraceptive methods: findings from the Understanding Fertility Management in Contemporary Australia survey

Karen Freilich, Sara Holton, Heather Rowe, Maggie Kirkman, Lynne Jordan, Kathleen McNamee, Christine Bayly, John McBain, Vikki Sinnott, Jane Fisher

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Unintended pregnancy and abortion may, in part, result from suboptimal use of effective contraception. This study aimed to identify sociodemographic factors associated with the use of effective and less effective methods among women and men of reproductive age living in Australia. Methods: In a cross-sectional national survey, 1544 women and men aged 18–51 were identified as being at risk of pregnancy. Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were used to assess the sociodemographic factors related to contraceptive use. Results: Most respondents (n = 1307, 84.7%) reported using a method of contraception. Use of any contraceptive was associated with being born in Australia (Odds Ratio [OR] 1.89; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]1.186, 3.01; p = .008), having English as a first language (OR 1.81; 95% CI: 1.07, 3.04; p = .026), having private health insurance (OR 2.25; 95% CI 1.66, 3.04; p < .001), and not considering religion important to fertility choices (OR 0.43; 95%CI 0.31, 0.60; p < .001). A third used effective contraceptive methods (n = 534, 34.6%; permanent methods: 23.1%, and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC): 11.4%). Permanent methods were more likely to be used in rural areas (OR 0.62; 95%CI 0.46, 0.84; p = .002). Use of the least effective, short-term methods was reported by nearly half (condoms: 25.6%, withdrawal: 12.5%, and fertility-awareness-based methods: 2.8%). Those who relied on withdrawal were more likely to live in a metropolitan area (OR 2.85; 95% CI 1.95, 4.18; p < .001), and not have private health insurance (OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.38, 0.71; p < .001). Conclusions: Targeted promotion of the broad range of available contraceptives may raise awareness and uptake of more effective methods and improve reproductive autonomy in certain population groups. © 2017 The European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212 - 221
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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