The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
CG conceived and designed the study, conducted the data collection and analysis, and drafted the manuscript. LK assisted in the design of the study, oversaw the analysis and assisted with the interpretation of the results. AK and JT assisted in the design of the study and contributed to the interpretation of the results. JH assisted in the conception and design of the study and contributed to the interpretation of results. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Australia has high rates of teenage pregnancy compared with many Western countries. Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) offers an effective method to help decrease unintended pregnancies; however, current uptake remains low. The aim of this study was to investigate barriers to LARC use by young women in Australia.
Healthcare professionals were recruited through publicly available sources and snowball sampling to complete an interview about young women’s access to and use of LARC. The sample consisted of general practitioners, nurses, medical directors of reproductive and sexual health organisations, a sexual health educator, and health advocates. In addition, four focus groups about LARC were conducted with young women (aged 17–25 years) recruited via health organisations and a university. The data were analysed thematically.
Fifteen healthcare professionals were interviewed and four focus groups were conducted with 27 young women. Shared barriers identified included norms, misconceptions, bodily consequences, and LARC access issues. An additional barrier identified by young women was a perceived lack of control over hormones entering the body from LARC devices. Healthcare professionals also raised as a barrier limited confidence and support in LARC insertions. Strategies identified to increase contraceptive knowledge and access included increasing nurses’ role in contraceptive provision and education, improving sex education in schools, and educating parents.
Challenges remain for young women to be able to make informed choices about contraception and easily access services. More research is needed around innovative approaches to increase LARC knowledge and access, including examining the role of nurses in enhancing young women’s reproductive health.
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- Understanding the low uptake of long-acting reversible contraception by young women in Australia: a qualitative study
Cameryn C. Garrett
Louise A. Keogh
Jane S. Hocking
- BioMed Central
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