Contraceptive use and reproductive intentions among women requesting contraceptive counseling

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Limited attention has been paid to the use of contraception in relation to women's family planning intentions. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of contraception during the most recent intercourse as well as the reproductive intentions of Swedish-speaking women requesting contraceptive counseling.

Material and methods:

A cross-sectional baseline survey in a randomized controlled trial regarding reproductive life planning (before randomization). Women requesting contraceptive counseling answered questions about contraception and whether they wanted to have children/more children in the future.


In total, 1946 women participated: 33.7% (n = 656) parous and 65.7% (n = 1279) nulliparous. The majority, 87.1% (n = 1682), had used contraception during their latest intercourse; 64.6% (n = 1239) used short-acting reversible contraception, 22.8% (n = 443) used long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), and 12.9% (n = 251) had not used any contraception. A combined oral contraceptive was more common among nulliparous and LARC among parous. Among all women, 64.8% (n = 1253) intended to have children/more children in the future, among parous women 35.7% (n = 220) and among nulliparous 80.0% (n = 1033). Among women who did not intend to have children/more children, 22.6% (n = 60) of parous and 10% (n = 8) of nulliparous had not used contraceptives during their most recent intercourse.


Women did not always use contraceptives that were suitable for their reproductive intentions. Questioning women who request contraceptive counseling about their pregnancy intention can give healthcare providers better opportunities for individualized counseling.

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