Contraceptive service needs of women with young children presenting for pediatric care

Krishna K. Upadhya, Anne E. Burke, Arik V. Marcell, Kamila Mistry, Tina L. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives The primary objective of this study is to characterize the need for contraceptive services and contraceptive method use among women with young children presenting to child health clinics. A secondary objective is to characterize the factors, including access to care and health needs, that exist in this population and to evaluate their association with contraceptive method use. Study design This is a cross-sectional study of women with children under age 36 months presenting to four child health practices in the Baltimore, Maryland, area. Participating women completed a survey to assess desire for pregnancy, contraceptive method use and related characteristics. Results A total of 238 participants (82%) were in need of contraceptive services (fertile and not desiring pregnancy). Overall, 59 (25%) of women in need were not using a contraceptive method (unmet need) and 79 (33%) were using a highly effective method (implant or intrauterine device). Factors associated with lower odds of unmet need for contraceptive services included attendance at a routine postpartum visit and visiting a healthcare provider to discuss contraception after pregnancy. Approximately half of index pregnancies were unintended and this was the only health factor associated with greater odds of using of a highly effective contraceptive method. Conclusions Most women presenting with young children for pediatric care indicated that they were not currently trying to become pregnant and reported current methods of pregnancy prevention that ranged from none to highly effective. Women who had not sought postpregnancy contraceptive care were more likely to have unmet need for contraceptive services. Implications Child health clinics may be a novel site for providing contraceptive care to women with children as part of a strategy to reduce unplanned pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-512
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Contraception
  • Family planning
  • Health services
  • Pediatrics
  • Preconception health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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