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A qualitative analysis of women's explanations for changing contraception: the importance of non-contraceptive effects
  1. Britta Wigginton1,
  2. Melissa L Harris2,
  3. Deborah Loxton3,
  4. Jayne C Lucke4,5
  1. 1Research Assistant, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Herston, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Research Academic, Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Deputy Director, Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Director, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5Honorary Professor, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Herston, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Britta Wigginton, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia; b.wigginton{at}uq.edu.au

Abstract

Background Women commonly report changing contraceptive methods because of side-effects. However, there is a lack of literature that has thoroughly examined women's perspectives, including why they changed contraception.

Aim Using qualitative data from a contraceptive survey of young Australian women, we explored women's explanations for their recent changes in contraception.

Method A thematic analysis of 1051 responses to a question about why women recently changed contraception was conducted.

Results Themes reflected reasons for changing contraception which included: both contraceptive and non-contraceptive (4%); relationship/sexual (9%); medical (11%); contraceptive (18%); non-contraceptive (41%). A minority of responses were uncoded (17%). Non-contraceptive effects (effects unrelated to pregnancy prevention) featured most frequently in women's reasons for changing contraception.

Conclusions While cessation of various contraceptives due to unwanted side-effects is a well-known phenomenon, this analysis provides evidence of the changing of contraception for its non-contraceptive effects and reframes the notion of ‘side-effects’.

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