Increased uptake of LARC postpartum could prevent more unintended pregnancies and short inter-birth intervals. GPs play a pivotal role in providing postpartum contraception at the 6-week postnatal visit.
Researchers did this study to explore how GPs view their role in delivering postpartum contraception at the 6-week visit and on providing LARC at this time.
The researchers conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 13 GPs in Edinburgh and Scotland’s surrounding region. The talks were audio-recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed.
GPs provided prescriptions for oral contraception at this visit, but the insertion of a contraceptive implant required a further appointment. For intrauterine contraception, women typically required two additional visits to the GP or were referred to a local sexual health service. Some GPs saw their role as the leading provider of postpartum contraception, whereas others felt they complemented midwives and health visitors’ actions.
This study concluded that although contraception is discussed at a routine 6-week postpartum visit with a GP, there are delays for women wishing to commence LARC that create scope for unintended pregnancy. Researchers should explore strategies to facilitate access to LARC postpartum.