Effects of Relationship Characteristics on Contraceptive Use and Unintended Pregnancy

Ushma D. Upadhyay, University of California, San Francisco
Tina Raine-Bennett, University of California, San Francisco

It is commonly accepted that relationship context influences contraceptive use and unintended pregnancy but little is known about these potential influences. Data were collected as part of a longitudinal study on hormonal contraception among unmarried women who wanted to avoid pregnancy for at least one year, recruited at family planning clinics in low-income San Francisco Bay area communities. Baseline and follow-up surveys were completed at 3, 6, and 12 months. Among 1,089 participants in sexual relationships, higher quality relationships, measured by an 11-item scale, were associated with reduced risk of contraceptive discontinuation (AHR=0.91, p<0.001) and unintended pregnancy (AOR=0.81, p<0.05) within one year, adjusting for other factors. Partner cohabitation was associated with higher risk of contraceptive discontinuation but relationship length of >1 year was protective against contraceptive discontinuation. Neither living with a partner nor relationship length was associated with pregnancy risk. Unintended pregnancy interventions should consider the influence of relationship context.

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Presented in Session 39: Gender, Couple Context and Reproductive Health