Women generally rely on condoms and birth controlling pills for pregnancy prevention, though more effective forms of contraception exits, which lead to unintended pregnancies.
Researchers are from the University of California San Francisco.
The study found that around 50 percent of the pregnancies in the United States are unintended.
Many women are not opting for effective methods like the long acting reversible contraceptives or LARCs such as intrauterine devices and hormonal implants.
Cynthia Harper, PhD, a professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health said, “There has been heavy reliance in the United States on the pill and condoms for young people. It’s easy for people to forget to use these methods, which can lead to accidental pregnancies.”
A report has been earlier published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed only 11 percent of young women, aged 25 to 34 used LARCs. That is more than double the percentage of young women aged 15 to 24 who reported using LARC’s which is 5 percent.
Researchers during the study sought to determine if interventions with health care professionals could lead to a reduction in unintended pregnancy.
For the study, researchers have enrolled 1,500 women seeking birth control from 40 Planned Parenthood clinics across the US. The women, aged 18 to 25 were followed for 12 months.
Half of the clinics received training on providing counseling and insertion of IUD’s or progestin implants, while the other half provided standard care. 71 percent of providers discussed IUDs and implants with their patients, compared to 39 percent providers in the control group. The discussion led 28 percent of women in the intervention group to choose IUDs or implants, while only 17 percent in the control group chose either method.
It was found that intervention group to have fewer unintended pregnancies from 15 to 8 per 100 women. Interestingly, this effect was not observed with women seeking birth control after an abortion.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended that IUDs and implants be sued as first line contraceptive methods in 2009. Still there are many health care providers who are less familiar with these form of birth control and do not include them in contraceptive counseling.
Carolyn Westhoff, MD, senior medical advisor at Planned Parenthood Federation of America said, “This study shows how important it is that women’s health care providers have full information about available birth control methods and are trained to provide all of these methods to patients at the same visit.”
“It’s one very important part of making sure that women can have the birth control of their choosing — without any barriers.”