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Contraception. 2015 Jun;91(6):438-55. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2015.02.009. Epub 2015 Feb 21.

How does intimate partner violence affect condom and oral contraceptive Use in the United States?: A systematic review of the literature.

Author information

1
Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address: jnbergmann@ucsd.edu.
2
Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is estimated to affect 25% of adult women in the United States alone. IPV directly impacts women's ability to use contraception, resulting in many of unintended pregnancies and STIs. This review examines the relationship between IPV and condom and oral contraceptive use within the United States at two levels: the female victim's perspective on barriers to condom and oral contraceptive use, in conjunction with experiencing IPV (Aim 1) and the male perpetrator's perspective regarding condom and oral contraceptive use (Aim 2).

STUDY DESIGN:

We systematically reviewed and synthesized all publications meeting the study criteria published since 1997. We aimed to categorize the results by emerging themes related to each study aim.

RESULTS:

We identified 42 studies that met our inclusion criteria. We found 37 studies that addressed Aim 1. Within this we identified three themes: violence resulting in reduced condom or oral contraceptive use (n=15); condom or oral contraceptive use negotiation (n=15); which we further categorized as IPV due to condom or oral contraceptive request, perceived violence (or fear) of IPV resulting in decreased condom or oral contraceptive use, and sexual relationship power imbalances decreasing the ability to use condoms or oral contraceptives; and reproductive coercion (n=7). We found 5 studies that addressed Aim 2. Most studies were cross-sectional, limiting the ability to determine causality between IPV and condom or oral contraceptive use; however, most studies did find a positive relationship between IPV and decreased condom or oral contraceptive use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research has demonstrated the linkages between female IPV victimization/male IPV perpetration and condom or oral contraceptive use. However, additional qualitative and longitudinal research is needed to improve the understanding of dynamics in relationships with IPV and determine causality between IPV, intermediate variables (e.g., contraceptive use negotiation, sexual relationship power dynamics, reproductive coercion), and condom and oral contraceptive use. Assessing the relationship between IPV and reproductive coercion may elucidate barriers to contraceptive use as well as opportunities for interventions to increase contraceptive use (such as forms of contraception with less partner influence) and reduce IPV and reproductive coercion.

KEYWORDS:

Birth control; Condom use; Intimate partner violence; Oral contraception; Reproductive coercion; United States

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