To determine whether types of contraceptive methods used by abortion patients in the month they became pregnant changed between 2000 and 2014.
We used secondary data from the 2000 (n=10,015) and 2014 (8177) Abortion Patient Surveys. Patients were asked which contraceptive methods they had last used and when they had stopped or if they were still using them. The main outcome variable was type of contraceptive method used in the month the pregnancy began. We used bivariate logistic regressions to assess changes in the demographic and contraceptive use profiles of abortion patients.
In both years slightly more than half of patients reported that they had used a contraceptive method in the month they became pregnant, though the decline from 54% in 2000 to 51% in 2014 was statistically significant (p=.011). The methods most commonly reported to have been used in the month the pregnancy began were condoms (28% and 24% in 2000 and 2014, p<.001) followed by the pill (14% and 13%, p=.12). There was a statistically significant increase in the proportion of abortion patients who reported using long-acting reversible methods in the month they got pregnant (0.1% in 2000 vs. 1% in 2014, p<.001), and the estimated number of abortions attributed to these users was greater in 2014 than in 2000 (9500 vs. 1800).
Contraceptive use patterns of abortion patients were similar in both time periods, and changes in method use mirrored changes in contraceptive use among the larger population of women.
Post-abortion contraception counseling has the potential to help nonusers find methods that meet their preferences and to help women better use their current methods.