Contraceptive Method Switching and Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Removal in U.S. Safety Net Clinics, 2016-2021

Obstet Gynecol. 2023 Sep 1;142(3):669-678. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005277. Epub 2023 Aug 3.


Objective: To describe patterns of contraceptive method switching and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) removal in a large network of community health centers.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using individual-level electronic health record data from 489 clinics in 20 states from 2016 to 2021. We used logistic regression models, including individual-, clinic-, and state-level covariates, to calculate adjusted odds ratios and predicted probabilities of any observed contraceptive method switching and LARC removal among those with baseline incident LARC, both over 4-year time periods.

Results: Among 151,786 patients with 513,753 contraceptive encounters, 22.1% switched to another method at least once over the 4-year observation period, and switching patterns were varied. In patients with baseline LARC, the adjusted predicted probability of switching was 19.0% (95% CI 18.0-20.0%) compared with patients with baseline moderately effective methods (16.2%, 95% CI 15.1-17.3%). The adjusted predicted probability of switching was highest among the youngest group (28.6%, 95% CI 25.8-31.6% in patients aged 12-14 years) and decreased in a dose-response relationship by age to 8.4% (95% CI 7.4-9.4%) among patients aged 45-49 years. Latina and Black race and ethnicity, public or no insurance, and baseline Title X clinic status were all associated with higher odds of switching at least once. Among baseline LARC users, 19.4% had a removal (to switch or discontinue) within 1 year and 30.1% within 4 years; 97.6% of clinics that provided LARC also had evidence of a removal.

Conclusion: Community health centers provide access to method switching and LARC removal. Contraceptive switching and LARC removal are common, and clinicians should normalize switching and LARC removal among patients.

MeSH terms

  • Contraception / methods
  • Contraception Behavior
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Humans
  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraception* / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety-net Providers


  • Contraceptive Agents