Young Latin American women's misperceptions about intrauterine contraception and their beliefs and preferences regarding menstrual bleeding: results of an online survey
ESC Congress Library. Lira J. 05/28/14; 50561; A-146 Disclosure(s): The author is a member of the INTRA group, an independent panel of physicians with expert interest in intrauterine contraception, the formation of which was facilitated by Bayer HealthCare. The market research company GfK is acknowledged for conducting the field research with funding from Bayer HealthCare. The content of this poster was solely the responsibility of the authors.
Dr. Josefina Lira
Dr. Josefina Lira
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Abstract
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Objectives:


To gain a greater understanding of Latin American women’s misperceptions regarding intrauterine contraception (IUC), and their beliefs and preferences about menstrual bleeding.


Methods:


Nulliparous and parous women aged 20–30 years were recruited in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina. Exclusion criteria included previous sterilization/hysterectomy, menopause, known infertility or a partner who has had a vasectomy. Thirty-minute web-based interviews were conducted between February and March 2012.


Results:


Respondent demographics


In total, 1,953 women were surveyed in Mexico (n=495), Brazil (n=380), Colombia (n=613) and Argentina (n=465); 67% and 33% were nulliparous and parous, respectively. Unintended pregnancy had been experienced by 9% of nulliparous women and 66% of parous women surveyed.


Misperceptions regarding intrauterine contraception


The women surveyed believed that the hormonal intrauterine system (IUS) and copper intrauterine devices (Cu-IUDs), respectively, may cause pelvic infections (23% and 42%), may lead to infertility (20% and 16%) and may cause ectopic pregnancy (24% and 44%) and weight gain (38% and 14%). Overall, 54% and 74% of Latin American women correctly identified that the hormonal IUS and Cu-IUDs, respectively, are placed in the uterus. The most frequently reported incorrect locations for placement were in the vagina or arm.


Attitudes towards placement


Contraceptives that require placement by a healthcare professional (HCP) would be considered by 64% of women surveyed, and 62% reported that they would consider ‘a method that might cause discomfort for up to 24 hours after placement, provided it was safe and effective’.


Attitudes and beliefs about menstruation


The percentage of Latin American women expressing a preference for ‘regular monthly periods’, ‘shortened periods’, ‘lighter periods’ and for their ‘periods to stop completely’, were 54%, 51%, 48% and 14%, respectively. The beliefs that skipping periods and having irregular periods are ‘not healthy for a woman’s body’ were upheld by 53% and 49% of Latin American women, respectively.


Conclusions:


Many of women’s misperceptions concerning the safety of IUC are shared by HCPs. More than half of Latin American women would consider a contraceptive method placed by a HCP even if it is associated with some initial discomfort, indicating that they would be open to considering IUC methods. However, women’s misperception that absent or irregular bleeding (while using contraception) is unhealthy needs to be addressed so that highly effective long-acting contraceptives, including IUC, are not disregarded as an option.


 

Objectives:


To gain a greater understanding of Latin American women’s misperceptions regarding intrauterine contraception (IUC), and their beliefs and preferences about menstrual bleeding.


Methods:


Nulliparous and parous women aged 20–30 years were recruited in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina. Exclusion criteria included previous sterilization/hysterectomy, menopause, known infertility or a partner who has had a vasectomy. Thirty-minute web-based interviews were conducted between February and March 2012.


Results:


Respondent demographics


In total, 1,953 women were surveyed in Mexico (n=495), Brazil (n=380), Colombia (n=613) and Argentina (n=465); 67% and 33% were nulliparous and parous, respectively. Unintended pregnancy had been experienced by 9% of nulliparous women and 66% of parous women surveyed.


Misperceptions regarding intrauterine contraception


The women surveyed believed that the hormonal intrauterine system (IUS) and copper intrauterine devices (Cu-IUDs), respectively, may cause pelvic infections (23% and 42%), may lead to infertility (20% and 16%) and may cause ectopic pregnancy (24% and 44%) and weight gain (38% and 14%). Overall, 54% and 74% of Latin American women correctly identified that the hormonal IUS and Cu-IUDs, respectively, are placed in the uterus. The most frequently reported incorrect locations for placement were in the vagina or arm.


Attitudes towards placement


Contraceptives that require placement by a healthcare professional (HCP) would be considered by 64% of women surveyed, and 62% reported that they would consider ‘a method that might cause discomfort for up to 24 hours after placement, provided it was safe and effective’.


Attitudes and beliefs about menstruation


The percentage of Latin American women expressing a preference for ‘regular monthly periods’, ‘shortened periods’, ‘lighter periods’ and for their ‘periods to stop completely’, were 54%, 51%, 48% and 14%, respectively. The beliefs that skipping periods and having irregular periods are ‘not healthy for a woman’s body’ were upheld by 53% and 49% of Latin American women, respectively.


Conclusions:


Many of women’s misperceptions concerning the safety of IUC are shared by HCPs. More than half of Latin American women would consider a contraceptive method placed by a HCP even if it is associated with some initial discomfort, indicating that they would be open to considering IUC methods. However, women’s misperception that absent or irregular bleeding (while using contraception) is unhealthy needs to be addressed so that highly effective long-acting contraceptives, including IUC, are not disregarded as an option.


 

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