Young women's knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to long-acting reversible contraceptives

Womens Health Issues. Nov-Dec 2010;20(6):394-9. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2010.07.005.


Background: The present study explored 18- to 30-year-old women's knowledge and perceptions of the long-acting, reversible contraceptives (LARCs) Mirena and Implanon in a Midwestern state in the United States.

Methods: A telephone survey (n = 543) and 18 focus groups (n = 106) were conducted with women across a rural, Midwestern state. During the telephone survey, women answered questions related to their awareness and knowledge of two LARCs. During the focus groups, participants were asked to respond to questions related to their awareness, knowledge, behaviors, and perceptions of LARCs.

Results: In the telephone survey, half of the women reported hearing of Mirena. Only 8.0% of women had heard of Implanon. In the focus groups, most women reported knowing little about LARCs. Benefits associated with other contraceptives were not associated with LARCs. Women were concerned about potential side effects and problems stemming from using a contraceptive that is new to them.

Conclusion: Increased use of LARCs would likely reduce the unintended pregnancy rate. As described, although some young women are aware of these long-term contraceptive options, there is still a need to educate women on their availability, use, and potential benefit.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic* / adverse effects
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic* / therapeutic use
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Desogestrel* / adverse effects
  • Desogestrel* / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Levonorgestrel* / administration & dosage
  • Levonorgestrel* / therapeutic use
  • Midwestern United States
  • Pregnancy
  • Rural Population
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Telephone
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • etonogestrel
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Desogestrel