Contraception for women living with violence

Children by Choice, Last modified on: 22 May 2017

Contraceptive use is often compromised for women living with violence. 

Contraceptive options that are safe and appropriate for one woman may not work for another. If you’re working with women experiencing violence, it’s important to explore each woman’s unique circumstances and draw on her own knowledge to assess the degree of comfort and safety with her contraceptive options.

Important factors to consider include whether the perpetrator is likely to:

  • Monitor the woman’s Medicare or prescription records through her MyGov account;
  • Restrict or monitor access to health care professionals;
  • Monitor menstruation and fertility patterns;
  • Engage in severe physical assaults;
  • Be actively searching for the use of contraceptive drugs or devices; and/or
  • Engage in rape and other forms of sexual assault.

This guide is not intended to replace a full medical consultation with a professional, but does provide a starting point for thinking further about which contraceptive options might be safest and most appropriate given an individual patient’s or client’s circumstances.

  • Read more here
  • Download full resource (PDF) here 

 

U.S. Abortion Rate Continues to Decline, Improvements in Contraceptive Use Credited

Guttmacher Institute, January 17, 2017

For the first time since 1975, the number of abortions in the United States dropped under one million (958,700 in 2013 and 926,200 in 2014). The abortion rate also continued to decline.

Improved contraceptive use in recent years has led to a decline in the U.S. unintended pregnancy rate, suggesting that women are increasingly able to plan their pregnancies and therefore have a decreased need for abortions.

Mirena IUD effective for seven years: new study

Dr Jennifer Gunter, September 10 2016

The Mirena intrauterine system (IUS), the IUD with the hormone levonorgestrel, is a highly effective method of contraception currently approved for five years. Some data suggests that it probably good for six years, but a new study tells us with a good degree of confidence that the Mirena is safe and effective for seven years. 

The study was funded by UNDP/ UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research and published in the journal Contraception.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance: United States

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 10, 2016

The CDC has released the report: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance —  United States 2015.

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitors six categories of priority health behaviors among youth and young adults: 1) behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2) tobacco use; 3) alcohol and other drug use; 4) sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; 5) unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6) physical inactivity.
A national school-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is conducted by CDC and  by state and local education and health agencies. This report summarizes results for 118 health behaviors from surveys conducted among students in grades 9–12.

Relating to sex, the following behaviours were summarised:

Sexual Behaviors Related to Unintended Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections, Including HIV Infection
  • Ever Had Sexual Intercourse
  • Had First Sexual Intercourse Before Age 13 Years
  • Had Sexual Intercourse with Four or More Persons During Their Life
  • Currently Sexually Active
  • Condom Use
  • Birth Control Pill Use
  • IUD or Implant Use
  • Shot, Patch, or Birth Control Ring Use
  • Birth Control Pill; IUD or Implant; or Shot, Patch, or Birth Control Ring Use
  • Condom Use and Birth Control Pill; IUD or Implant; or Shot, Patch, or Birth Control Ring Use
  • Did Not Use Any Method to Prevent Pregnancy
  • Drank Alcohol or Used Drugs Before Last Sexual Intercourse
  • Tested for HIV

Behaviors that Contribute to Violence

  • Forced to Have Sexual Intercourse
  • Physical Dating Violence
  • Sexual Dating Violence
Many high school students are engaged in sexual risk behaviors related to unintended pregnancies and STIs, including HIV infection.
Nationwide, 41.2% of students had ever had sexual intercourse, 30.1% had had sexual intercourse during the 3 months before the survey (i.e., currently sexually active), and 11.5% had had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their life. Among
currently sexually active students, 56.9% had used a condom during their last sexual intercourse.

Download report (PDF) here

Young women say they are happy with IUDs

Reuters, Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:09pm EDT

College women who choose an intrauterine device (IUD) for long-term contraception say it hurts to have the device inserted at first, but they are otherwise very happy with it more than a year later, according to a new U.S. survey.

Read more here