Adolescent satisfaction with postpartum contraception and body weight concerns

Wendy L. Hellerstedt, Mary Story

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: To explore factors that could be related to adolescents' satisfaction with postpartum contraceptives. Methods: Three focus groups were conducted with a total of 22 adolescent mothers. The groups covered four content areas: feelings about birth control since becoming a mother, decision making about contraceptive use, factors that would influence contraceptive discontinuation, and the perceived side effects of the current contraceptive. Audiotapes from the groups were analyzed to identify major themes. Results: Nineteen subjects received Depo-Provera when they were discharged after delivery and the majority reported that menstrual irregularities and weight gain were side effects. Two body weight-related themes were dominant: dissatisfaction with heavier than desired body weights and resignation about not returning to prepregnancy weights. Conclusions: Depo-Provera may be an effective contraceptive for adolescent mothers who are generally at high risk for rapid repeat pregnancy. This qualitative study suggests that contraceptive continuation may be enhanced with specific counselling to manage body weight concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-452
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Training Grant no. MCJ000111) and the Minnesota Obesity Center (no. NIH-P30-DK50456).


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