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Contraception. 2003 Oct;68(4):281-7.

Cross-border procurement of contraception. estimates from a postpartum survey in El Paso, Texas.

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  • 1University of Texas at Austin, Population Research Center, 1800 Main Building, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


Along the US-Mexico border, US residents have the option of crossing to Mexico in order to purchase hormonal contraception sold over-the-counter at very low prices in pharmacies. We investigated the prevalence of cross-border contraceptive procurement by way of a survey of 3134 women who delivered in a large public hospital in El Paso, Texas, between 1996 and 1997. Pills, injectables, condoms and IUDs were the most commonly used methods by women in the birth interval preceding delivery. Among multiparous women, 41% of pills and 54% of injectables were obtained in Mexico. However, almost all condoms were obtained in the United States. In this largely Hispanic population, the prevalence of cross-border procurement was highest among women who were born and educated in Mexico. Discontinuation of pills and injectables was lower when obtained across the border than in the United States. These findings support the proposition that reducing the medical requirements to acquire pills and injectables and making them available at low cost would augment their use in low-income populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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