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Authors

  1. Smith, Carleigh DNP
  2. Morse, Elizabeth DNP, MPH
  3. Busby, Steven PhD

Abstract

The health impact of opioid use disorder on women and infant health alongside persistent rates of unintended pregnancy calls for better targeted reproductive healthcare for all women, especially those receiving treatment for opioid treatment disorder and decreasing barriers to care. This cross-sectional mixed-methods study explored the reproductive intentions and contraceptive practices of women (N = 50) in medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorder with a focus on knowledge and use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), specifically intrauterine devices and implants. Eighty-four percent of the 50 women interviewed had experienced at least 1 unintended pregnancy, and 30% were using contraceptive methods with high failure rates. Although approximately 75% of women indicated awareness of both forms of LARCs, only 6% reported current or past use of either device. Qualitative results found the greatest barriers to the uptake of LARC were women's expressed fears of complications and inaccurate information from family, friends, and acquaintances. Increasing awareness of the benefits of LARC as ideal contraception for women who may desire a future pregnancy is important for improving reproductive health for women receiving treatment of opioid use disorder.