Pregnancy motivations and contraceptive use: hers, his, or theirs?

Womens Health Issues. 2010 Jul-Aug;20(4):234-41. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2010.03.008.

Abstract

Context: Studies increasingly consider the role of pregnancy motivations on contraceptive use. Few studies include measures of men's pregnancy motivations.

Methods: We used baseline data (from a couples-intervention study) to examine the contribution of women's and men's pregnancy motivations and participation in decision making to contraceptive use by women in relatively stable relationships who were not trying to get pregnant. In addition to conducting multivariate analyses, we assessed agreement between a woman's perceptions of and her partner's reports of his pregnancy motivations.

Results: We observed moderate agreement between men's pregnancy motivations and their partners' perceptions of those motivations. Levels of agreement about participation in decision making were somewhat lower. In bivariate analyses, effective contraceptive use was significantly associated with two measures of pregnancy motivation for men and women. In multivariate analyses, only women not wanting a child in 2 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.73), women's (aOR, 1.80) and men's (aOR, 0.78) participation in decision making, women believing their partners favored contraceptive use (aOR, 2.01), relationships lasting 2 or more years (aOR, 1.98), and ethnicity/race (Latina aOR, 0.27; other race aOR , 0.45) were associated with effective contraceptive use.

Conclusion: Providers and those developing interventions must recognize that some women who are "not trying to get pregnant" have weak motivations to avoid pregnancy, and so should help women to clarify their motivations and seek support from their partners for contraceptive use. To understand the role of pregnancy motivations, future research may include both qualitative and longitudinal quantitative studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Contraception Behavior / psychology*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Perception
  • Pregnancy / psychology*
  • Racial Groups
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Young Adult