Availability of and Interest in Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) and their Effect on LARC Utilization among Latina Adolescents

Brittany Badal,

Published on: 2021-05-29


Background: To examine the impact of on-site availability of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARC) at school-based health centers (SBHCs) on interest and use of LARCs.
Aim: This study examined the association between LARC availability at nine SBHCs and LARC interest and uptake among sexually active Latinas aged 14-18 years.
Methods: Participants completed four surveys: baseline (at the recruitment visit) and at 48-hours, 3-months and 6-months post-recruitment visit. Multivariate logistic regression models analyzed the effect of on-site LARC availability and adolescents’ interest in using a LARC and on subsequent LARC utilization.
Results: Of the 334 participants, 28% reported interest in using LARC; 45% had on-site access to LARCs at their SBHC. Utilization of LARC was 6.0% at the 48- hour follow-up, 8.3% at 3-months and 7.2% at the 6-month follow-up. Initial interest in LARC use was significantly associated with subsequent LARC utilization at all follow-ups. However, on-site clinic availability to LARCs significantly increased LARC use only at the 6-month follow-up.
Conclusion: Latina adolescents’ interest in LARC use far exceeded their actual utilization. Efforts to increase LARC access are warranted to assure that all adolescents are able to get their preferred contraceptive method. SBHCs can serve a critical role in supporting adolescents’ access to contraceptive care.

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