Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) have become more commonly promoted on media in the UK to save women from contraceptive pills’ side-effects. Unfortunately, most young women still rely on the contraceptive pill. Researchers described young women’s hormonal contraceptive accounts to explore why this might be the case in this study.

Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with twenty participants. All the participants were 20-year-old women. Participating women belonged from eastern Scotland in the UK.

All but one woman reported use of the pill. It was the method they expected to use, sought out, and received. Belief in the pill’s efficacy was maintained even when knowledge or experience of failure suggested otherwise. Only four women reported using alternative hormonal methods and only did so after experiencing intractable problems with the pill (side effects of forgetting to take). All then discontinued use because of weight gain or dislike of menstrual suppression.

The study concluded that attempts to promote LARC must address these issues. Pill use can be unproblematic if managed well. Pill use should continue to be promoted as an appropriate contraceptive for young women.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/35/3/167