Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate or Oral Contraception in Postpartum Adolescents

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Abstract

Objective

To compare rates of method continuation and repeat pregnancy among postpartum adolescents selecting depot medroxyprogesterone acetate or oral contraceptives (OCs).

Methods

A retrospective study of 161 adolescents aged 19 years and younger who gave birth at an urban teaching hospital between May 1,1994, and April 30,1995, returned to the hospital's family planning clinic within 14 weeks of delivery and chose depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (n = 111, 69%), or OC (n = 50, 31%) as their postpartum contraceptive method. Most subjects were black (99%), single (97%), and on medical assistance (85%). Data were gathered 12–18 months postpartum (mean ± standard deviation [SD] 14.5 ± 1.6 months) by telephone interview and medical record review. The main outcome measures were method continuation and repeat pregnancy.

Results

The mean (± SD) age at delivery was 17.8 ± 1.4 years. Variables differentiating subjects selecting depot medroxyprogesterone acetate or OC included multiparity (34% versus 12%, P < .05), mean age at first pregnancy (15.9 versus 16.6 years, P < .05), and mean age at first delivery (16.1 versus 16.9 years, P < .05), The survival curves for depot medroxyprogesterone acetate and OC continuation differed significantly (median duration of use 8.1 versus 5.4 months, respectively), but the continuation rates, at 12 months were similar (34% versus 32%). The survival curves for repeat pregnancy among subjects selecting depot medroxyprogesterone acetate differed significantly from curves of those choosing OC, with repeat pregnancy rates of 15% and 36% by 15 months. Postpartum selection of OC was the only variable entering a Cox regression model designed to predict repeat pregnancy (relative risk 3.0,95% confidence interval 1.4, 6.7).

Conclusion

Adolescent mothers choosing depot medroxy progesterone acetate or OC immediately postpartum face similarly high rates of method discontinuation and repeat pregnancy within 1 year.

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