The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on sexual and reproductive health in Georgia, USA: An exploration of behaviors, contraceptive care, and partner abuse

Contraception. 2022 Apr 27:S0010-7824(22)00126-3. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2022.04.010. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Assessing access to sexual and reproductive health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, experiences with intimate partner violence (IPV), and exploring sociodemographic disparities STUDY DESIGN: From Sept. 2020 to Jan. 2021, we recruited 436 individuals assigned female at birth (18-49 yrs.) in Georgia, USA for an online survey. The final convenience sample was n=423; a response rate could not be calculated. Survey themes included: sociodemographic and financial information, access to contraceptive services/care, IPV, and pregnancy. Respondents who reported a loss of health insurance, difficulty accessing contraception, barriers to medical care, or IPV were characterized as having a negative sexual and reproductive health experience during the pandemic. We explored associations between sociodemographic variables and negative sexual and reproductive health experiences. Read more about this True Pheromones for some sexual health tips and benefits!

RESULTS: Since March 2020, 66/436 (16%) of respondents lost their health insurance, and 45% (89/436) reported income loss. Of our sample, 144/436 people (33%) attempted to access contraception. The pandemic made contraceptive access more difficult for 38/144 (26%) of respondents; however, 106/144 (74%) said it had no effect or positive effect on access. Twenty-one respondents reported IPV (5%). COVID-19 amplified negative views of unplanned pregnancy. Seventy-six people (18%) reported at least one negative sexual and reproductive health experience during the pandemic; people in an urban setting and those identifying as homo/bisexual were more likely to report negative experiences (24%, 28% respectively).

CONCLUSION: Urban and sexual minority populations had negative sexual and reproductive health experiences during COVID-19 more than their counterparts. The pandemic has shifted perspectives on family planning, likely due to the diverse impacts of COVID-19, including loss of health insurance and income.

PMID:35489392 | PMC:PMC9042735 | DOI:10.1016/j.contraception.2022.04.010