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Keywords:

  • Contraception;
  • methods;
  • residence;
  • women's health;
  • Australia

Abstract

Objectives: To examine factors associated with the uptake of i) long-acting reversible, ii) permanent and iii) traditional contraceptive methods among Australian women.

Methods: Participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health born in 1973–78 reported on their contraceptive use at three surveys: 2003, 2006 and 2009. The participants were 5,849 women aged 25–30 in 2003 randomly sampled from Medicare. The main outcome measure was current contraceptive method at age 28–33 years categorised as long-acting reversible methods (implant, IUD, injection), permanent (tubal ligation, vasectomy), and traditional methods (oral contraceptive pills, condoms, withdrawal, safe period).

Results: Compared to women living in major cities, women in inner regional areas were more likely to use long-acting (OR=1.26, 95%CI 1.03–1.55) or permanent methods (OR=1.43, 95%CI 1.17–1.76). Women living in outer regional/remote areas were more likely than women living in cities to use long-acting (OR=1.65, 95%CI 1.31–2.08) or permanent methods (OR=1.69, 95%CI 1.43–2.14).

Conclusions: Location of residence is an important factor in women's choices about long-acting and permanent contraception in addition to the number and age of their children.

Implications: Further research is needed to understand the role of geographical location in women's access to contraceptive options in Australia.