Pregnancy Intention and Contraceptive Use at Six Months Postpartum Among Women With Recent Preterm Delivery


  • Joan Rosen Bloch,

    Corresponding author
    • Correspondence

      Joan Rosen Bloch, PhD, CRNP, Drexel University, 245 North North 15th Street, Mail Stop 501, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

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  • David A. Webb,

  • Leny Mathew,

  • Jennifer F. Culhane

  • The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.



To describe pregnancy intention and contraceptive use among women with a recent delivery that occurred at 35 weeks gestation or fewer and who were enrolled in a large-scale randomized control trial.


In this descriptive study we used data from assessments conducted at 6 months postpartum as part of a randomized controlled clinical trial, the Philadelphia Collaborative Preterm Prevention Project (PCPPP).

Participants and Setting

Participants were recruited following a preterm birth (PTB) in one of the 12 urban birth hospitals. All women enrolled in PCPPP, who completed their 6-month postpartum assessment, and who were sexually active at the time of that assessment (n = 566), were included in the analysis.


Data were collected during face-to-face interviews. Study questionnaires included questions about participants’ plans for the timing of subsequent pregnancies, contraceptive behaviors, and other health variables.


Nearly all of the participants (90.1%, n = 509) reported they did not want to get pregnant within one year of the index PTB. However, more than one half of these women (54.6%) reported contraceptive practices of low or moderate effectiveness. Most predictive of intending another pregnancy within the year was the death of the index PTB infant (odds ratio [OR]= 18.2,95% confidence interval [CI] [8.9, 37.0]).


Discordant pregnancy intention and contraceptive use were reported among this group of mothers of PTB infants who are at particularly high risk for a poor outcome of any subsequent pregnancy. The findings highlight the need for further investigation of the causes, correlates, and consequences of discordant pregnancy intentions and contraceptive practices.