Contraception counseling at the time of first trimester abortion: What do women want?
Awarded 2014
Large Research Grants
Catherine Cansino, MD, MPH
University of California, Davis

Objectives: To investigate if women desire contraception counseling when seeking first trimester abortion services. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study by distributing self-administered anonymous surveys to women seeking first trimester medical or surgical abortion at three clinics in Sacramento, Chicago and Cleveland. Surveys were completed after registration and before in-office counseling. We asked whether women want to discuss contraception, specific topics they want to discuss, reasons why they may not want contraception counseling, and whether they want to receive contraception services as part of their abortion care. Results: Of the 1,959 respondents, 61.7% did not want to discuss contraception prior to having an abortion, primarily citing that they already know which method they want. The desire for counseling was not associated with age, race, planned abortion method, clinic site, number of unplanned pregnancies, or contraceptive method used leading to the current pregnancy. Among those who wanted counseling, women preferred to discuss which contraceptive methods are easier to use and which methods are more effective compared to methods that they have previously used. Regardless of their desire for counseling, 70.8% of respondents wanted to leave the clinic with a specific method, such as a long-acting reversible method (intrauterine device or implant, 18.5%) or other hormonal method (pills, patch, ring, or injectable, 66.5%). Conclusions: Most women seeking first trimester abortion do not come to the clinic wanting to discuss contraception, most commonly because they have a preferred method in mind. Abortion providers should account for such desires when allocating resources for abortion care provision.