'I have the jab so I can't be blamed for getting pregnant': Contraception and women with learning disabilities

  • McCarthy M
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Abstract

The aim of this research was to investigate whether, and to what extent, women with learning disabilities were enabled to exercise choice and control when it came to their use of contraception. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 23 women with learning disabilities in the UK to explore these issues. Findings suggest that most women with learning disabilities did not make their own decisions and some of those who did, found their choices constrained by various factors, such as their young age, fears of losing their service, and previous traumatic experiences. The over-use of Depo-Provera is discussed, as are the common practices of giving contraception to women who are not sexually active and those whose fertility has declined naturally due to their age. The factors which lead to women's relative lack of autonomy are explored. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Authors

  • Michelle McCarthy

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