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Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Dec;120(6):1298-305. doi: http://10.1097/AOG.0b013e31827499bd.

Continuation of reversible contraception in teenagers and young women.

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Division of Clinical Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.



To examine the effect of age on continuation rates of reversible contraceptive methods among females aged 14-19 years and women aged 20-25 years compared with women older than 25 years of age.


We analyzed data from 7,472 participants enrolled in the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, a prospective cohort study of women offered no-cost contraception. Our primary objective was to compare 12-month continuation rates between females aged 14-19, 20-25, and 26 years and older. We collected data about method continuation from telephone surveys and chart review. We used Kaplan-Meier survival curves to estimate continuation and Cox proportional hazard models to examine the risk of contraceptive method discontinuation.


Twelve-month continuation of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods was more than 75% for all age groups. Females aged 14-19 years using LARC methods had slightly lower continuation rates (81%) than older women (85-86%), but this did not reach statistical or clinical significance. Compared with women older than 25 years of age, females aged 14-19 years had higher discontinuation rates for non-LARC methods (53% compared with 44%; adjusted hazard ratio 1.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.73). The females aged 14-19 years were less likely to be satisfied with non-LARC methods (42% compared with 51%; adjusted relative risk 0.80, 95% CI 0.65-0.98), but not with LARC methods (75% compared with 83%; relative risk 0.94, 95% CI 0.88-1.01) when compared with women older than 25 years of age; however, the differences were small.


Teenagers and young women have high rates of LARC method continuation.

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