Original research article| Volume 86, ISSUE 6, P631-638, December 2012

Use of contraceptive methods and contraceptive recommendations among health care providers actively involved in contraceptive counseling — results of an international survey in 10 countries



      This study was conducted to determine the personal choices of contraceptive methods among an international sample of contraception health care professionals (HCPs) and to determine if these choices are concordant with their recommendations to women.

      Study Design

      In an anonymous online survey, 1001 HCPs actively involved in contraceptive counseling [obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs), general practitioners (GPs) and midwives (only in Sweden)] from 10 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) were asked about their personal use of contraceptive methods and their recommendations to women in two different clinical scenarios: for spacing between children (Group A) and after completion of the family (Group B).


      The largest HCP group was OB/GYNs (67.1%), followed by GPs (31.4%) and midwives (1.5%). A total of 42.7% of respondents were male, and 57.3% were female. The majority of respondents were aged 36–45 years (38.9%) or 46–55 years (42.8%), 79.7% had children, and 53.9% were currently using contraception (by themselves or by their partners). Among 540 contraceptive users, the three most common methods were the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS; 29.3%), combined oral contraceptives (COCs; 20.0%) and condoms (17.0%). OB/GYNs were more likely to be using the LNG-IUS than GPs (p=.014). Gender did not seem to influence contraceptive preference. Reasons for these choices were largely influenced by family situation and high contraceptive efficacy (for the LNG-IUS) or side effects caused by other methods (for condoms). The top contraceptive recommendation was COCs for Group A and the LNG-IUS for Group B. HCPs currently using COCs and the LNG-IUS were more likely to recommend these methods than other contraceptive methods for Group A and Group B, respectively.


      The most popular contraceptive method in this sample of HCPs was the LNG-IUS. Choice of contraceptive method was driven by family situation, age and profession. It appears that, in this sample, personal contraceptive use influences contraceptive recommendations.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Contraception
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Benson L.S.
        • Perrucci A.
        • Drey E.A.
        • Steinauer J.E.
        Effect of shared contraceptive experiences on IUD use at an urban abortion clinic.
        Contraception. 2012; 85: 198-203
        • Frank E.
        • Elon L.
        Clinical and personal relationships between oral contraceptive and hormone replacement therapy use among US women physicians.
        Menopause. 2003; 10: 133-141
        • Cummings K.M.
        • Giovino G.
        • Sciandra R.
        • Koenigsberg M.
        • Emont S.L.
        Physician advice to quit smoking: who gets it and who doesn't.
        Am J Prev Med. 1987; 3: 69-75
        • Lewis C.E.
        • Clancy C.
        • Leake B.
        • Schwartz J.S.
        The counseling practices of internists.
        Ann Intern Med. 1991; 114: 54-58
        • Hyman D.J.
        • Maibach E.W.
        • Flora J.A.
        • Fortmann S.P.
        Cholesterol treatment practices of primary care physicians.
        Public Health Rep. 1992; 107: 441-448
        • Rowen T.S.
        • Smith J.F.
        • Eisenberg M.L.
        • Breyer B.N.
        • Drey E.A.
        • Shindel A.W.
        Contraceptive usage patterns in North American medical students.
        Contraception. 2011; 83: 459-465
        • Cibula D.
        Women's contraceptive practices and sexual behaviour in Europe.
        Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2008; 13: 362-375
        • Frank E.
        Contraceptive use by female physicians in the United States.
        Obstet Gynecol. 1999; 94: 666-671
        • Zbella E.A.
        • Vermesh M.
        • Gleicher N.
        Contraceptive practices of female physicians.
        Contraception. 1986; 33: 423-436
        • Dehlendora C.
        • Levya K.
        • Ruskinb R.
        • Steinauerb J.
        Health care providers' knowledge about contraceptive evidence: a barrier to quality family planning care?.
        Contraception. 2010; 81: 292-298
        • Viberga I.
        • Odlind V.
        • Zodzika J.
        Practices and perceptions on intrauterine contraception among Latvian obstetrician/gynecologists.
        Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2006; 85: 583-588
        • Lee D.Y.
        • Koo Y.A.
        • Yoon B.K.
        • Choi D.
        Reproductive health characteristics of urban South Korean women.
        Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2010; 70: 154-159
        • Wiebe E.R.
        • Henderson A.
        • Choi J.
        • Trouton K.
        Ethnic Korean women's perceptions about birth control.
        Contraception. 2006; 73: 623-627
        • Mattila-Lindy S.
        • Hemminki E.
        • Malin M.
        • et al.
        Physicians' gender and clinical opinions of reproductive health matters.
        Women Health. 1997; 26: 15-26
        • Erviti J.
        • Sosa Sánchez I.A.
        • Castro R.
        Social origin of contraceptive counseling practices by male doctors in Mexico.
        Qual Health Res. 2010; 20: 778-787