Background: Women with disabilities have the same rights as women without disabilities to prevent unintended pregnancy, yet little is known about their experiences in accessing family planning methods. Objective: This qualitative descriptive study explored perceptions of barriers to effective family planning services among women with disabilities. Method: Semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted with 31 women with diverse disabilities as part of a larger study investigating risks and facilitators of unintended pregnancy among women with disabilities across the United States. Results: Analysis revealed multiple barriers experienced by women with disabilities in accessing effective family planning services needed to prevent unintended pregnancy. Barriers included physical or system barriers, financial limitations, and nonresponsive healthcare providers. Women also identified difficulties in finding appropriate family planning methods, both related and unrelated to disability. Conclusions: This is the first in-depth exploration of barriers to accessing family planning services and challenges to finding effective family planning options among women with disabilities. The findings underscore the need for targeted interventions, improved provider training, and policy changes to optimize reproductive healthcare, improve access to family planning services, and prevent unintended pregnancy among women of childbearing age with diverse disabilities.
- Family planning
- Unintended pregnancy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health