Importance and Knowledge of Oral Contraceptives in Antepartum, Low-income, African American Adolescents

Academic Article


  • Study objective: To assess motivation, sense of self-efficacy and knowledge of oral contraceptives (OC) in antepartum, African-American Adolescents and young adults following OC counseling. Methods: Gravid African-American females, less than 25 years of age, receiving prenatal care at the Prentice Ambulatory Clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital were eligible for this study. Participants were enrolled after 34 weeks gestation, received one session of standardized OC counseling and then completed a series of questions regarding importance, confidence and knowledge of OCs. Results: Forty-three adolescents and young adults participated in this study. Almost all participants agreed that it was important to plan their next pregnancy and to avoid unplanned pregnancies. On average, participants were extremely contident they could take a pill each day. Yet, while most were confident that they knew what to do if they missed one pill, only 37% actually knew what to do if they missed one pill. Conclusion: Despite high motivation and confidence in their ability to take OCs following pregnancy, many in this cohort did not fully understand the counseling that they had received. It is important for clinicians to bear in mind that patients may express motivation and confidence about using OCs, but still lack knowledge of the more complex and critical aspects of OC use. Additional education and support are needed in high-risk populations to ensure effective contraceptive knowledge.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gilliam ML; Knight S; McCarthy M
  • Start Page

  • 355
  • End Page

  • 360
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 6