Young Women's Contraceptive Microbicide Preferences: Associations with Contraceptive Behavior and Sexual Relationship Characteristics
In time, microbicides may provide women with dual prevention against pregnancy and STDs. Although several microbicide dimensions have been evaluated, little is known about women's preferences for contraceptive microbicides and correlates of these preferences.
Acceptability of a hypothetical contraceptive microbicide cream or jelly was examined among a clinic-based sample of 266 women in Indianapolis from 2004 (when participants were aged 14–22) to 2008. Group conjoint analyses and individual conjoint analyses were used to compare preferences with respect to four microbicide dimensions: contraceptive ability, efficacy in relation to condoms, timing of use and texture. Pearson's product moment correlations were used to examine the relationship between preferences for a contraceptive microbicide and selected characteristics of the women.
Overall, the top-rated microbicide dimensions were efficacy in relation to that of condoms and contraceptive ability (importance scores, 40.0 and 35.4 out of 100.0, respectively). When all dimension levels were compared, contraceptive ability was the most strongly preferred (part-worth utility score, 8.9), and lower efficacy than that of condoms was the least strongly preferred (−11.9). Preference for contraceptive microbicides was positively associated with current contraceptive use, sexual agency, partner communication, commitment to avoiding pregnancy and perceived partner agreement about avoiding pregnancy (coefficients, 0.07–0.18). It was negatively associated with current or past nonuse of contraceptives, seeking pregnancy and perceived partner agreement about seeking pregnancy (−0.08 to −0.14).
Microbicides with dual prevention properties may be attractive to young women. Microbicide development and subsequent clinical trials should incorporate contraceptive microbicides.