Informing Policy Change: A Study of Rapid Repeat Pregnancy in Adolescents to Increase Access to Immediate Postpartum Contraception

Neena T. Qasba, John W. Stutsman, Greta E. Weaver, Kathleen E. Jones, Joanne K. Daggy, Tracey A. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Rapid repeat pregnancy (RRP) is common among adolescents and is associated with adverse maternal and infant outcomes. Despite evidence that use of long-acting forms of contraception before hospital discharge can help minimize RRP rates, barriers to placement existed within the state of Indiana. We sought to determine state-specific RRP and induced abortion rates for adolescents based on chosen postpartum contraception to inform policy change. Methods: We examined a retrospective cohort of 227 adolescents (ages 12-18 years) who gave birth in Indiana between 2010 and 2012. Demographics, postpartum contraception, and subsequent pregnancies or abortions after the sentinel delivery were obtained. Rates of RRP based on type of immediate postpartum contraception, etonogestrel (ENG) contraceptive implant, depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) injection, and short-acting methods were compared. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results: RRP rates were 3.7% for those with ENG contraceptive implant, 22.6% for those with DMPA, and 39.1% for those who choose short-acting methods (p = 0.01). Adolescents who did not choose an ENG contraceptive implant were significantly more likely to have an RRP (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 11.8, 95% confidence interval: 2.74-110.3), compared with other contraceptive methods, even after adjusting for covariates such as age, prior pregnancies, and postpartum visit attendance. Conclusions: Immediate postpartum receipt of ENG implant was significantly associated with a lower likelihood of RRP in adolescents in Indiana. These data facilitated state policy change regarding insurance reimbursement to improve statewide access for all women, regardless of age, showing how local data can inform policy change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-818
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • adolescents
  • advocacy
  • contraception
  • postpartum contraception
  • repeat pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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