One of the primary sources of proper information about contraceptives and reproductive health for women ought to come from their medical specialists. However, this information might be incomplete in most cases. A new study in Australia found that healthcare practitioners often do not talk to women about long-term reversible contraception for various reasons, thus perpetuating a lack of information.
The systematic review, conducted by a team of researchers at the Flinders University, sought to understand the views of medical specialists on long-term reversible contraception such as intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants. The study found that no-GP healthcare practitioners in developed countries did not discuss these options owing to three primary reasons. This included a lack of knowledge regarding these methods, personal concerns, and opinions about them, as well as contraceptive counseling practices and constraints.
“Global sexual health organizations have been recommending the use of long-acting reversible contraception such as IUDs and implants for several years, which are safe and carry a very high success rate of 99%,” says Carri Welsby, Flinders University health sciences honors graduate and author of the paper. “Research is strong in support of these efficient and cost-effective methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy, yet there remains low uptake compared to the oral contraceptive pill.”
The study also cites the estimates by the United Nations, which suggest that only 4.6% of women in Australia use IUDs, whereas 22% of women choose the contraceptive pill, which also is a cheaper option upfront. The author also notes that misconceptions such as ectopic pregnancies and fertility problems in the future surrounded the use of long-term reversible contraceptives.
The results of this study have been published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.