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Use of Postpartum Birth Control in Rural Women in Southwest Guatemala: Analysis of a Quality-Improvement Database

Author(s): Kathryn Feller, Claudia Rivera, Amy S Nacht, Saskia Bunge-Montes, Andrea Jimenez-Zambrano, Molly Lamb, Gretchen Heinrichs, Antonio Bolanos, Edwin Asturias, Sephen Berman, Margo S Harrison

Objective: Our objective was to observe the prevalence of postpartum contraceptive use in a population of rural women in Southwest Guatemala by type, and to determine characteristics associated with long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) use and sterilization.

Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of prospectively collected quality improvement data from a cohort of postpartum women. We compared women intending to use or already using contraception to those not intending to utilize a method; bivariate comparisons were used to determine if there were differences in characteristics between these groups. If differences occurred (p < 0.2), those covariates were included in multivariable regression analyses to determine characteristics associated with use, and then specifically with LARC use and sterilization.

Results: In a cohort of 424 women who were surveyed between 2015-2017, the average age was 23 years old, and the prevalence of use or plan to use postpartum contraception was 87.5%. Women with a parity of 2 - 3 were 10% more likely to use any form of postpartum birth control (RR 1.1, CI [1.01, 1.2]) compared to primiparous women. Women who were married were also more likely to use a postpartum method (RR > 10, CI [>10,>10]). The prevalence of LARC use was low (4.0%), and women were more likely to choose this method if they were employed (RR 3.5 CI [1.1, 11.3]). Regarding sterilization, women with a parity of greater than one compared to primiparous women had an increased likelihood of sterilization (RR 3.6 CI [2.5,4.9]); each year a woman aged was associated with a 10% increased likelihood of postpartum sterilization (RR 1.1 CI [1.01,1.08]). Women were also more likely to choose sterilization if delivered by a skilled birth attendant (RR 1.8 CI [1.1,2.9]) or by cesarean birth (RR 2.1 CI [1.4,3.1]).

Conclusion: In this cohort, married women of higher parity were more likely to use postpartum contraception, with employed women more likely to use a LARC method. Older women of higher parity who were delivered by a skilled attendant by cesarean birth were the most likely to pursue sterilization.

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