This cross-sectional survey, using a self-completion questionnaire, aimed to explore young people’s attitudes towards these contraceptives to understand the choices they make about contraception. Participants were a self-selecting sample of young women attending contraception clinics in Newcastle upon Tyne. Statistical analysis was carried out using appropriate univariate tests. The present qualitative research involved identifying key themes, which were continuously challenged by looking for conformity and variation and identifying disconfirming cases.
The majority of the 127 participants had no prior knowledge of the patch, vaginal ring, or implant. Interest in using these contraceptives was low. Researchers found associations between their attitude towards using them and the participants’ age, the experience of pregnancy scares, unplanned pregnancies, and prior knowledge of the contraceptives. Six major themes emerged relating to these contraceptives’ advantages and disadvantages and included convenience, effectiveness, safety, side effects, invasiveness, and discretion.
The study concluded that the young people’s knowledge of and attitudes towards these contraceptives was variable and may have been influenced by experience and access to information. Themes identified from perceptions of these contraceptives are useful in understanding what young people look for in contraceptives. Health professionals should provide information on these themes when assisting young people in making informed decisions about contraception.