Motivators of contraceptive method change and implications for long-acting reversible contraception (non-)use: A qualitative free-text analysis

Sex Reprod Healthc. 2019 Mar:19:71-77. doi: 10.1016/j.srhc.2018.12.004. Epub 2018 Dec 14.


Objective: To develop a greater understanding of the motivators of contraceptive method change over time for young Australian women, with a particular interest in long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) use.

Method: Free-text comments from the Contraceptive Use, Pregnancy Intention and Decisions (CUPID) Study were used to explore the reasons for contraceptive method change among women who reported one or more contraceptive changes across the three CUPID surveys.

Results: 512 women reported making at least one contraceptive method change, with 740 comments explaining these changes between them. Participants reported a multitude of reasons motivating their contraceptive change. Five key themes were developed to explain these motivators: the natural, sexual and fertile body, specific contraceptive characteristics and other important people. Findings suggest that women's decisions to switch or discontinue a contraceptive depended largely on her ability (and desire) to juggle its impact on her sexual, fertile and natural body. Importantly, the transient and fluid nature of contraceptive practices were demonstrated, as the women adjusted their method to suit their needs at the time.

Conclusion: Regarding LARC use, these findings suggest that rather than being appealing, the 'temporarily permanent' nature of these methods may be unappealing and incongruent with the needs of some women.

Keywords: Australia; Contraceptive change; Free-text comments; Long-acting reversible contraception; Qualitative research; Women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Contraception Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraception*
  • Motivation*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult