Knowledge and use of birth control methods in active duty Army enlisted medical trainees

Mil Med. 1999 Jun;164(6):407-9.


This study was designed to determine the familiarity of medical advanced individual training (AIT) students with current methods of birth control and to evaluate the accessibility of these methods. A survey was distributed to 578 medical specialist AIT students assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for training. Results obtained show a lack of knowledge concerning the newer forms of contraceptives available. This study also indicates that barriers may exist that limit a soldier's ability to acquire prescription forms of contraception while in training.

PIP: This cross-sectional study evaluates the knowledge and use of contraceptives in medical advanced individual training students and the availability of these contraceptive methods. A 15-item proctored self-administered questionnaire was given to 564 soldiers from the 232nd Medical Battalion assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Results revealed that majority of the active duty service members were well informed on the current birth control methods. About 55.6% females and 50.8% males reported knowing emergency contraceptive pills as a method of pregnancy prevention. Condom was reportedly the most popular method of contraception among 98.8% females and 99.4% males. Lack of knowledge on newer forms of contraceptive devices was observed. Inability of obtaining contraceptives was due to unavailability of condoms, lack of time for routine check-ups, barriers in the medical system, and a general lack of information.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / education*
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Students, Health Occupations / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas
  • United States