Long-acting reversible contraception free of charge, method initiation, and abortion rates in Finland

Frida Gyllenberg, Mikael Juselius, Mika Gissler, Oskari Heikinheimo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. To evaluate whether a public program providing long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods free of charge increases the LARC initiation rate and reduces the unintended pregnancy rate in the general population. Methods. Since 2013, all women in Vantaa, Finland, have been entitled to 1 LARC method free of charge. With time-series analysis between 2000 and 2015, we assessed whether this public program was associated with changes in steady-state mean rates of LARC initiation and abortions. Results. The initiation rate of LARCs (1/1000 women) increased 2.2-fold from 1.9 to 4.2 after the intervention (P < .001). Concomitantly, the abortion rate (1/1000 women) declined by 16% from 1.1 to 0.9 in the total sample (P < .001), by 36% from 1.3 to 0.8 among those aged 15 to 19 years (P < .001), and by 14% from 2.0 to 1.7 among those aged 20 to 24 years (P = .01). Conclusions. The LARC program was associated with increased uptake of LARC methods and fewer abortions in the population. Public Health Implications. Entitling the population to LARC methods free of charge is an effective means to reduce the unmet need of contraception and the need for abortion, especially among women younger than 25 years.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume108
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)538-543
Number of pages6
ISSN0090-0036
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 04.2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

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