The study was conducted with the purpose to evaluate the adherence to no-cost oral contraceptives (OC) among young single women and to identify factors associated with non-adherence.

It was a retrospective cohort study that included all single female soldiers who received free-of-charge OCs from military pharmacies in Israel. Military pharmacies’ dispensing registries were queried to assess the number of OC packages dispensed.

3 05 923 active servicewomen were identified. A total of 82 203 women were dispensed at least one pack of OCs. The mean MPR was 51.8%. Only 14% of women had good adherence. Multivariate regression models showed that non-adherence was more common among servicewomen: who failed to graduate from high school and with combat or combat-support type of service. Other social/ethnic factors, including first-generation immigrant, sub-Saharan African origin, lower IQ scores, and combat-support type of service were associated with non-adherence, but to smaller degrees. Neither income nor health status predicted adherence in this population receiving no-cost OCs.

The study concluded through its findings that the 12 cycles of OC adherence were universally low among active servicewomen. Adherence demonstrated small, but significant, associations with sociodemographic factors, with the lowest levels of adherence predicted by low educational attainment and combat service.