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Association of Perinatal Depression and Postpartum Contraception Intent, Choice, and Actual Use.

Contraception 2024 April 6
OBJECTIVES: Depression is common during pregnancy and the year following childbirth (the perinatal period). This study assessed the association of depressive symptoms and contraception decisions in perinatal individuals.

STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a secondary analysis using data from the PRogram in Support of Moms (PRISM) study, a cluster randomized controlled trial of active interventions which aimed to address perinatal depression. This analysis included 191 individuals aged 18-45 who screened positive for depression on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS, score ≥10) during pregnancy or up to 3-months postpartum. We assessed contraception intent and method choice at 1-3 months postpartum. At 5-7 months postpartum, we assessed contraceptive method used and EPDS depression scores. We used logistic regressions to examine the relationship between depression and contraceptive use/method.

RESULTS: At 1-3 months postpartum, the majority of participants (76.4%) expressed an intention to use contraception. Of those, over half (53.4%) indicated a preference for higher effectiveness contraception methods. Participants with persistent depression symptoms (positive EPDS) at 5-7 months were significantly less likely to report using higher effectiveness contraceptive methods (aOR=0.28, 95% CI=0.11-0.70) compared to those without. Among participants with persistent depressive symptoms, 21.1% reported using a contraception method of lower effectiveness than had originally intended.

CONCLUSION: Perinatal individuals with persistent depressive symptoms at 5-7 months postpartum reported greater use of less-effective contraception methods than originally planned.

IMPLICATIONS: We found associations between perinatal depression and use of less effective contraception use. Provider discussions regarding contraception planning is important, particularly in those with perinatal depression symptoms.

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