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Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2005 Dec;37(4):184-91.

Consistency of condom use among low-income hormonal contraceptive users.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.



Hormonal contraceptive users may be at increased risk for HIV and other STDs. An understanding of their decisions and abilities to use condoms is needed to focus intervention programs aimed at improving their protective behaviors.


Between 1999 and 2001, 426 new users of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) and oral contraceptives were recruited from public clinics providing family planning services to low-income women and surveyed when they began their method and again three months later. Bivariate analyses examined the consistency of condom use across subgroups, and multivariate analyses assessed associations between consistent use and various characteristics.


Among women who had used condoms consistently before starting on DMPA or the pill, 54% discontinued consistent use after taking these contraceptives. Overall, 20% of women consistently used condoms with their hormonal method, and such use did not vary significantly by contraceptive type. Seventy-five percent of women in non-monogamous relationships were inconsistent users, though nearly a third had been consistent users prior to beginning a hormonal method. Factors associated with an elevated likelihood of consistent use were the male partner's positive opinion of condoms (odds ratio, 3.3) and the woman's strong belief that condom use is important for vaginal intercourse (3.5) and even if the couple is using another form of birth control (4.1).


Many women at highest risk for disease have a decreased likelihood of using condoms, and disease prevention programs should be customized to target these women. Educational efforts focusing on women's attitudes and negotiation skills may be the best means of increasing dual method use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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