Contraceptive use in women by body mass index categories

2008 2008

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Abstract (summary)

The prevalence of obesity has increased sharply in the United States since the mid 1970's. Obese women who become pregnant are at increased risk of pregnancy complications for both mother and fetus. This study assessed whether women in higher body mass index (BMI) categories engage in the preventive behaviors of contraception more frequently than normal weight women. It also evaluated the type of contraception used by both obese and normal weight women. The study used cross-sectional data from 7 states participating in the Family Planning Module of the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey is an annual random digit dialed telephone survey of the non-institutionalized civilian population aged 18 years and older. The Family Planning Module was administered by Arizona, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Of the 4,757 women who participated in the Family Planning Module, 2,244 (53.2%) were normal weight, 1,202 (25.6%) were overweight, and 1,072 (21.2%) were obese. The majority of these women 4,115 (86.2%) reported using some type of contraception to prevent pregnancy. Six hundred forty two women (13.8%) stated they did not use any type of contraception to prevent pregnancy. Within body mass index categories, 14% of normal weight women, 13% of overweight women, and 13.4% of obese women did not use any type of contraception. Neither the bivariate analysis nor the logistic regressions found body mass index categories to be statistically associated with contraceptive use. The relationship between body mass index categories and contraceptive method was found to be statistically significant. The predictive probability graph found that women at all levels of BMI have a lower probability of using barrier contraception methods as compared to procedural and hormonal methods. Hormonal contraception methods have the highest probability of use for women with a BMI of 15 to 25. In contrast, the probability of using procedural contraception methods is relatively flat and less than hormonal methods for BMI between 15 and 25. However, the probability of using procedural contraception increases dramatically with a BMI greater than 25. At a BMI greater than 42, women have a greater than 50% probability of using procedural contraception. Although a relationship between body mass index and contraception use was not found, contraception method was found to be associated with body mass index. The reasons why normal weight women prefer hormonal contraception while overweight/obese women are more likely to use procedural methods needs to be explored. By understanding the relationship between obesity and contraception, we can hopefully decrease unintended pregnancies and overall improve pregnancy related health outcomes. To determine if relationships between contraception use/type and body mass index exist, further research needs to be conducted on a national level.

Indexing (details)

Womens studies;
Public health;
Birth control;
Anatomy & physiology
0453: Womens studies
0573: Public health
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Social sciences
Contraceptive use in women by body mass index categories
Schraudenbach, Amisha
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
MAI 47/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
McFall, Stephanie
Committee member
Perkins, Jimmy
The University of Texas School of Public Health
Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences Management
University location
United States -- Texas
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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