Contraception and women with intellectual disabilities

  • McCarthy M
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Abstract

Background Contraception is widely prescribed to\r
women with intellectual disabilities, yet little is known\r
about what the women think and feel about this. One\r
of the aims of the study was to explore what women\r
understood and to what extent they were able to exercise\r
choice and control.\r
Method Twenty-three women with mild and moderate\r
intellectual disabilities in South East England were interviewed\r
about their current and past use of contraception,\r
their knowledge of contraception more broadly, the\r
process of being prescribed contraception and sources of\r
information and support.\r
Results Knowledge of how contraception works was\r
very limited and approximately half the women also\r
lacked basic knowledge about reproduction. Few\r
women attended medical appointments alone and none\r
had been given any accessible information about contraception.\r
Conclusions There is a role for increased education,\r
support and advocacy for women with intellectual\r
disabilities when they are prescribed contraception.\r
This would help to ensure women are prescribed\r
methods which are best for them as individuals\r
and to help maximize their participation in the\r
process.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Contraception
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Women

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Authors

  • Michelle McCarthy

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