Women prefer to use contraceptive methods to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy; however, there are several options available from which they can choose. Women commonly encounter that they keep on changing contraceptive methods because of side-effects. Unfortunately, there is a lack of literature investigating women’s perspectives and the reasons for changing contraception.

The researchers explored women’s explanations for their recent contraception changes using qualitative data from a contraceptive survey. Researchers conducted a thematic analysis of one thousand and fifty-one responses to a question about why women recently changed.

Themes obtained through the obtained responses reflected several reasons for changing contraception which included: both contraceptive and non-contraceptive reasons (4%); relationship/sexual reasons(9%); medical reasons(11%); contraceptive reasons(18%); non-contraceptive reasons (41%). A minority of responses were uncoded (17%). Non-contraceptive effects (effects unrelated to pregnancy prevention) were most frequently featured in women’s reasons for changing contraception.

The study concluded that while cessation of various contraceptives due to unwanted side-effects is a well-known phenomenon, this analysis provides evidence of the changing of contraception for its non-contraceptive effects and reframes the notion of ‘side-effects’.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/42/4/256