Prevalence of Contraindications to Oral Contraceptives and Efficacy of a Self-Screening Instrument in a Predominantly Hispanic Sample

Daniel Grossman, Ibis Reproductive Health
Leticia E. Fernandez, University of Texas at El Paso
Kristine Hopkins, University of Texas at Austin
Jon Amastae, University of Texas at El Paso
Kari White, University of Texas at Austin
Sandra G. Garcia, Population Council

This study measures the level of contraindications in a sample of predominantly Hispanic women on the US-Mexico border. We also compared women’s ability to screen themselves for contraindications to those of a health professional. We interviewed 1,357 women 18-49 years old, recruited from shopping malls El Paso, Texas. We found that 42.6% of women were contraindicated to the pill, higher than previous studies have found. A question asking a woman if she thought the pill was medically safe for her correctly identified 55% of women with true contraindications. Using a medical checklist of contraindications, women were more accurate in their self-assessments; respondents correctly identified contraindications 79% of the time. Younger women were better at self-screening than older women. Current hormonal users were also better at self-screening, suggesting that over-the-counter access for women seeking refills who have already been screened by a clinician would be particularly safe.

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Presented in Poster Session 5