ACOG 2013 Presenter: Patients unaware of dangers of pregnancy

May 9, 2013

Most women think both hormonal contraception and pregnancy are safe and many have fewer concerns about pregnancy than contraception, researchers from the University of Rochester reported at the Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

 

Most women think both hormonal contraception and pregnancy are safe and many have fewer concerns about pregnancy than contraception, researchers from the University of Rochester reported at the Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Poster sessions at ACOG 2013 annual meeting

The findings were from an anonymous survey of 50 patients who presented for pregnancy termination secondary to an undesired pregnancy. The questions were aimed at evaluating the women’s knowledge of risks of pregnancy and contraception and relative risks.

“Almost half the women in our study were unaware that pregnancy is more dangerous than contraception,” said Brandy J. Becker, MD, co-author of the study. “If women continue to receive more influence on their contraceptive choices from the media than their health care providers, we will never make progress at lowering unplanned pregnancy rates.”

Dr. Becker and co-author Sarah J. Betstadt, MD, MPH, noted that only 16% of women who responded to their survey were using contraception. Over 80% of the participants felt that hormonal contraception and pregnancy were safe, with 64% saying that contraception was safer than pregnancy. When asked about specific risks, however, 57% felt there were no concerns with pregnancy, versus 31% who had no concerns with contraception (P=0.19). The women associated contraception rather than pregnancy was with significantly more concerns about pulmonary embolism (40% vs 7%, P=.0003), cancer (24% vs 2%, P=.004) and infertility (29% vs 7%, P=.01).  

Becker BJ, Betstadt SJ. Patient perception of safety of hormonal contraception compared to pregnancy. Tuesday Poster #1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical Meeting. May 7, 2013. New Orleans, Louisiana.