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Situation of Adolescent Contraceptive Use in GermanyArticle in several languages: English | deutsch
received 31 July 2018
revised 13 August 2018
accepted 14 August 2018
19 October 2018 (online)
Introduction Would adolescent girls in Germany choose a different method of contraception to the combined oral contraceptive if provided with the appropriate information? Is there a need for long-acting contraception among our adolescent girls? How satisfied are female patients with the information they receive at their respective gynaecology practices, and how much do the girls know about different methods of contraception?
Materials and Methods In the study “Thinking About Needs in COntraception” (TANCO), not only female patients, but also their respective gynaecologists were surveyed online about current methods of contraception, their satisfaction with these methods, and also their level of knowledge concerning the individual methods of contraception, the situation related to advice about different contraceptive options and their general satisfaction with gynaecological care. This article presents the data from the subset of adolescent girls aged 14 to 19 years (n = 2699) out of the total of 18 521 women surveyed.
Results The girls surveyed were familiar with at least the name of more than five different methods of contraception (average 5.3). The doctors assumed that the respondents would know only 4.2 different methods. When asked explicitly about how the individual methods of contraception work, clear deficits became evident. This applies not only to the entire population of respondents, but also the users of the respective contraceptive method. In addition, a strong interest in long-acting contraception emerged from the survey, particularly among young women.
Discussion The data from the TANCO study reveal a clear discrepancy between the existing contraception almost exclusively in the form of the contraceptive pill and the contraceptive options considered by adolescent girls if they are thoroughly informed. The need for education into alternatives to the pill is high, as is the willingness to use such alternatives after receiving information – much higher than the figures suggested by the gynaecologists.
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