Reasons for hormonal contraceptive use in a cohort of African-American women living in the Detroit area

Contraception. 2020 Nov;102(5):346-348. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2020.07.093. Epub 2020 Aug 6.


Objectives: To characterize reasons for hormonal contraceptive (HC) use in 1,455 African-American women, aged 23-35 years.

Study design: The community-based cohort members were recruited from the Detroit, Michigan area in 2010-2012. HC history was collected via telephone interview.

Results: Seven percent reported HC use exclusively for non-contraceptive purposes, and 49% reported non-contraceptive reasons in addition to contraception. Non-contraceptive reasons were reported for all HC types, but were most common for combined oral contraceptives. Primary reasons were for irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, and pain.

Conclusions: In this large cohort of Black women, HC use to treat menstrual problems was common.

Implications: HCs were commonly used for both pregnancy prevention and management of menstrual symptoms, but some women used HCs exclusively for menstrual symptom relief. The importance for women of non-contraceptive reasons for HC use may not be adequately recognized, and published data on Black women's reasons for HC use remain limited.

Keywords: Depo-Provera; Hormonal contraceptive(s); Implant; Intrauterine device(s); Oral contraceptives; Patch.

Publication types

  • Research Support, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American*
  • Contraception
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female*
  • Contraceptive Devices
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menstruation Disturbances
  • Pregnancy


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined