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*Editors' Note: As of January 2017, the Monthly Women's Health Research Review has been discontinued. Below are archived articles for your reference.

Abortion History, Already Having Children Largest Predictors of Women's Post-Abortion Contraceptive Choice

February 26, 2015

Researchers compared selection of post-abortion contraceptives among women who had no previous abortions with women who had at least one abortion. They found that women with an abortion history were more likely to choose the most effective types of contraceptives but that already having children was the strongest predictor of women selecting the most effective tier of contraceptives.

'Tremendous' Women's Health Gains 'In Danger' From ACA Opponents, Commentary Says

January 29, 2015

In a commentary, Guttmacher Institute President and CEO Ann Starrs details several of the improvements in women's health that have resulted because of the Affordable Care Act. She discusses the importance of protecting and strengthening such gains amid court challenges and proposed legislation designed to undermine the law.

Study Examines Trends in Sexual Behavior Among Age Cohorts

January 29, 2015

For this study, researchers assessed sexual behaviors of multiple age cohorts to inform research and public health policy on sexually transmitted infections. They found that sexual behavior has changed in later generations; for example, age at sexual initiation decreased and the proportion of female respondents reporting ever having a same-sex partner increased. The researchers said their findings can inform public health initiatives and reinforce the need for sex education.

Investigation Explores Role of Patients' Social Influences in Contraceptive Counseling

January 29, 2015

In an analysis of contraceptive counseling conversations between patients and providers, researchers found that patients were much more likely than providers to initiate discussions on influences from the media, friends or other aspects of their social networks. The study also found that provider engagement during such discussions was generally limited, suggesting that "providers may not recognize the relevance" of social influences for patients and presenting "missed opportunities for patient education."

Study: Increased LARC Use Linked to Fewer Abortions

January 29, 2015

Researchers examined associations between increased use of long-acting reversible contraception in Iowa and the state's declining abortion rate between 2005 and 2012. They noted that expanded access to both abortion and contraception in the state at the time created an "ideal" context in which to study the potential link. Their findings suggest that an increase of "1 LARC user per 100 women in a given region was associated with a 4% reduction in the odds of abortion for women living in that region."

Increased Use of Preterm Birth Prevention Methods Could Decrease U.S. Preterm Birth Rate

January 29, 2015

In a clinical opinion, researchers assess the U.S. preterm birth rate, which despite falling to 11.4% in 2013, the lowest level since 1997, remains one of the highest PTB rates in the world. The researchers examine factors contributing to this decline, such as changes in medical guidelines on assisted reproductive technology and antismoking policies, to determine how to further improve the U.S. PTB rate.

Vaginal, Sublingual Misoprostol Dosing Faster Than Oral for Second-Trimester Medication Abortion, Trial Suggests

January 29, 2015

A randomly controlled trial at an Australian hospital found that administering misoprostol vaginally or sublingually generally worked about two hours faster than oral dosing to complete a second-trimester abortion. Women who took the drug orally also required a significantly greater total dosage than women in the other two groups to complete an abortion, although women in all three groups reported similar levels of satisfaction with the procedure.

Common Methods for Estimating Chlamydia Screening Rates Inaccurate, Study Finds

November 25, 2014

Inconsistent methods for calculating chlamydia screening rates have made it difficult to accurately assess how many women undergo annual testing, which is recommended for all sexually active women under age 26. In this study, University of Washington-Seattle researchers compared methods that rely on self-reports and insurance data, finding that neither method alone is sufficient to accurately estimate screening rates.

Study: Most Women Can Self-Assess Pregnancy Test Results After Early Medication Abortions

November 25, 2014

Researchers at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh examined whether women could reliably self-assess the results of pregnancy tests after undergoing early medication abortions. They found that that "most women ... neither want nor need scheduled telephone contact from a provider" after an early medication abortion and "feel comfortable with taking the responsibility for interpreting the result of [a pregnancy] test" after their abortions.

Parent-Daughter Communication Affects Teens' Likelihood of Discussing Abortion Decisions

November 25, 2014

Researchers at the University of Chicago examined the effect of parent-daughter communication about sexual health, pregnancy and abortion on teens' abortion decisions and whether they would tell their parents about those decisions. The researchers recommended efforts that focus on providing parents with the necessary tools to discuss sexual health with their daughters, rather than on parental involvement laws mandating such communication during pregnancy.

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