Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Objective: This study sought to evaluate the variation between racial groups and contraceptive methods chosen by women served by Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio (PPCO) in 2009 in order to better understand the issue of unintended pregnancy.

Methods: This two part study used administrative records provided by PPCO that included raw data for all women who were scheduled for an appointment to receive, or be consulted on contraception from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009 which included three PPCO clinic locations in Franklin County, Ohio. A chi-square analysis was performed with java-based mathematical software from the Math Beans Project to test the association between racial/ethnic groups and contraceptive methods. Secondly, a chart review was performed to determine length of use, and problems and complications experienced by women who had acquired an intrauterine device (IUD). The sample consisted of 24,370 women who used some type of contraception and 265 charts were evaluated.

Results: The results showed there was a significant difference among racial groups and contraceptive methods chosen by this population. An overall majority of the population chose oral contraceptives, followed by condoms. African American women received the most Depo Provera injections. Women between ages 20-24 years made up the largest percentage of clinic patients with 37%, compared to ages 12-14 years, having the lowest percentage in 2009. Approximately 9.9% of the sample had the IUD removed for complications such as excess bleeding, cramping, extreme pain, while 2.2% had it removed for other reasons such as family planning.

Conclusions: The results of this study may support public health officials in developing more effective strategies to increase contraceptive use and ultimately decrease unintended pregnancy. All levels of preventative care should be implemented to address socioeconomic barriers, understanding cultural differences, and providing community health resources in order to lower unintended pregnancy.