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J Am Coll Health. 2018 Jul;66(5):360-368. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2018.1431901. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Unmet demand for short-acting hormonal and long-acting reversible contraception among community college students in Texas.

Author information

1
a Texas Policy Evaluation Project, University of Texas at Austin , Austin , Texas , USA.
2
b Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin , Austin , Texas , USA.
3
c Cátedras CONACYT - National Institute of Public Health , Ciudad de México , Mexico.
4
d College of Nursing, University of Colorado Denver , Aurora , Colorado , USA.
5
e Department of Sociology , University of Colorado Boulder , Boulder , Colorado , USA.
6
f Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham , Birmingham , Alabama , USA.
7
g Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, University of California San Francisco , Oakland , California , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify preferences for and use of short-acting hormonal (e.g., oral contraceptives, injectable contraception) or long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) among community college students in Texas.

PARTICIPANTS:

Female community college students, ages 18 to 24, at risk of pregnancy, sampled in Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 (N = 966).

METHODS:

We assessed characteristics associated with preference for and use of short-acting hormonal or LARC methods (i.e., more-effective contraception).

RESULTS:

47% preferred short-acting hormonal methods and 21% preferred LARC, compared to 21% and 9%, respectively, who used these methods. A total of 63% of condom and withdrawal users and 78% of nonusers preferred a more effective method. Many noted cost and insurance barriers as reasons for not using their preferred more-effective method.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many young women in this sample who relied on less-effective methods preferred to use more-effective contraception. Reducing barriers could lead to higher uptake in this population at high risk of unintended pregnancy.

KEYWORDS:

Barriers to contraception; community college students; contraceptive preferences; contraceptive use

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