Oral Contraceptive Pill Use: Associations With Socio-demographics, Beliefs About the ocp and Barriers to Access
1National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
2Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland
Background: The oral contraceptive pill (OCP) is the most popular form of hormonal contraceptive and its use continues to increase internationally. In this analysis we aim to identify key determinants of OCP use in an existing population dataset. Method: In this cross-sectional survey 1,562 women were interviewed and asked about their views and experiences of contraceptive use. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify associations between predictor variables and OCP use. Findings: Thirty-five percent had used the OCP in the previous year. Younger, unmarried women, with free medical care were more likely to be OCP users. Sixty-eight percent agreed that taking a break from long term use of the OCP is a good idea. Thirty-seven percent agreed with the statement that the OCP had dangerous side effects and this belief was the strongest predictor variable of non-use of the OCP (Adjusted odds ratio: 0.52, 95% CI: 0.41, 0.66). Age dependent associations between beliefs and OCP use were observed in interaction analysis. Discussion: Concerns about the safety of the OCP are prevalent and may be important and modifiable determinants of contraceptive related behaviour.