Patient perceptions of immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception: A qualitative study,

Katharine Sznajder, Diana N. Carvajal, Carolyn Sufrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective of this study was to explore perceptions and experiences of immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) counseling and decision-making, with a focus on reproductive autonomy. We aimed to assess the potential for reproductive coercion. Study design: This was a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with Spanish and English speaking women who received an intrauterine device or contraceptive subdermal implant immediately postpartum. They were recruited before discharge from two hospitals in Baltimore, MD. We analyzed interviews using directed content analysis. Results: We interviewed a diverse group of 17 women. Participants praised the convenience of LARC and the ease of immediate postpartum placement. Some women reported feeling pushed by providers during counseling and were critical of their experiences. Women expressed a desire for comprehensive, objective information early and often during antepartum contraceptive counseling, and some valued counseling from multiple providers. They wanted autonomy in their contraceptive decision-making and described making internally motivated decisions based on their life goals and individual priorities. Conclusions: Some women felt pressured to choose immediate postpartum LARC, while others expressed enthusiasm for immediate postpartum LARC. Our data suggest that providers should start contraceptive counseling early in prenatal care and readdress it at multiple visits. Patients may benefit from speaking with multiple providers. Implications: Our study supports immediate postpartum LARC as a favorable contraceptive option for some women when discussed during prenatal care. Providers should take care to avoid coercion during counseling and focus on delivering comprehensive, objective information about all contraceptive methods, including side effects and removal options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Contraceptive counseling
  • Immediate postpartum LARC
  • LARC
  • Long-acting reversible contraception
  • Patient-centered outcomes
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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