Knowledge about various contraceptive methods in young women with and without eating disorders


  • Prior Presentations: This manuscript will be presented in abstract form at the 2012 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology meeting (oral presentation, April 19–21, 2012, Miami, FL) and the 2012 International Conference on Eating Disorders (poster presentation May 3–5, 2012, San Antonio, TX).



To determine if young women with eating disorders (EDs) have altered views about the risks/benefits of different forms of birth control than the general population.


Data was collected using a cross-sectional, survey-based study of postmenarchal women aged 13–25 years with a diagnosed ED (n = 50) or no history of disordered eating patterns (n =57).


Despite having a higher level of education (p = 0.04) and no differences in sexual history (p = 0.16), ED patients were less knowledgeable than controls about the health risks and benefits, effectiveness in preventing HIV, and effectiveness in preventing pregnancy of various methods of birth control (p≤ 0.05).


ED patients may be incorrectly presumed to be asexual while working on recovery; physicians may need to take extra time to educate ED patients about their personal risks of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and the benefits that different methods of contraception can provide. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013)