Contraception Use Less Likely Among Obese Teen Girls

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Contraception Use Less Likely Among Obese Teen Girls
Contraception Use Less Likely Among Obese Teen Girls

(HealthDay News) — Obesity is associated with less frequent and less consistent contraceptive use among sexually active 18- to 19-year-old girls, according to research published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Tammy Chang, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal study of data for 18- to 19-year-old women to examine the association between weight status and specific sexual behaviors. Participants recorded sexual practices, including contraceptive use, in a weekly journal.

The researchers found that the proportion of weeks in which the adolescent girls reported sexual intercourse averaged 52%, with no difference according to weight status.

Among weeks in which sexual activity was reported, the proportion of weeks with any contraceptive use was significantly lower for obese adolescent girls (84%) compared with normal-weight adolescent girls (91%).

Among weeks in which sexual activity and contraceptive use were reported, the proportion of weeks with consistent contraceptive use was significantly lower for obese adolescent girls (68%) than for normal-weight adolescent girls (78%); the same pattern was observed for oral contraceptive pill use (27% vs. 45%).

"In this longitudinal study, obese adolescent women were less likely to use contraception, and less likely to use it consistently when compared with normal-weight peers," the researchers wrote. "Findings suggest obesity may be an important factor associated with adolescent women's sexual behavior."

Reference

  1. Chang T et al. J Pediatr. 2015;doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.05.038.
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