Articles of Interest

Advances in reproductive health service delivery are guided by past and present research. The following articles highlight several opportunities for family planning providers to improve the accessibility and quality of reproductive health services.

Higgins J, Ryder K, Skarda G, Koepsel E, Bennett E. The Sexual Acceptability of Intrauterine Contraception: A Qualitative Study of Young Adult Women. Perspect Sex and Reprod Health. 2015;47(3):115-122.
In this study, Higgins, et al., conducted a series of focus groups and interviews of 50 Wisconsin women between 18 and 29 years to explore their opinions about how using an IUD could impact their sexual experiences. Researchers found the women considered that the IUD both positively and negatively impacted their sexual experience, though most aspects were considered to be positive. Common themes that arose include: security (high efficacy rates for the IUD can reduce anxiety around pregnancy); spontaneity (IUD requires no interruption during sex); sexual aspects of bleeding and cramping (IUD could improve of worsen symptoms that may impact sexual experience); scarcity of hormones (IUD is less likely than other methods to decrease libido due to no or low levels of hormones); string (IUD string may cause discomfort during sex); and stasis (IUD may have no impact on sexual experience). The authors suggest that clients could benefit from their health care providers addressing these common themes when counseling on IUDs.
Full article provided upon request.

Jones RK, Tapales A, Lindberg LD, Frost J. Using Longitudinal Data to Understand Changes In Consistent Contraceptive Use. Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2015;47(3):131-139.
Jones, et al., collected longitudinal data for 1,842 women between 18 and 39 years over 1.5 years to explore fluctuations in contraceptive use and pregnancy avoidance attitudes. The study examined how time-varying characteristics—such as marital status, pregnancy avoidance attitudes, and contact with health care services—impacted contraceptive use. Researchers found the degree to which women wanted to avoid pregnancy was related to their rates of contraceptive use. These findings suggests that women’s attitudes toward pregnancy and contraceptive use can change over short periods of time based on their current life circumstances, and support the rationale for assessing pregnancy intention and desire to contracept at every visit.
Full article provided upon request.

Marcell AV, Howard TL, Plowden K, Watson C. Exploring Women’s Perceptions About Their Role in Supporting Partners’ and Sons’ Reproductive Health Care. Am J Mens Health. 2010;4(4):297-304.
Marcell, et al., conducted focus groups with 20 African American women to explore their willingness to engage males about sexual and reproductive health. Focus group participants acknowledged that reproductive health decision-making should be a shared responsibility and that conversations about sexual and reproductive health should be direct. Additionally, participants acknowledged having encountered challenges in supporting males when they lacked information about specific topics or were not seen as a trusted source of information. Ultimately, the study found that a majority of the women were willing to support men in accessing sexual and reproductive health services by providing information on local health care providers, making their appointments, attending the visit with them, and having joint appointments. These findings suggest that women may serve as critical agents in efforts to engage males in sexual and reproductive health care.
Full article provided upon request.