Contraceptive Use Among Adolescents With and Without Disabilities

Angela Senders, Willi Horner-Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study is to assess contraceptive use at last intercourse among adolescent girls with and without disabilities. Methods: Data were from the 2015 and 2017 Oregon Healthy Teens survey, a state-wide representative sample of 11th grade students. Among respondents at risk for unplanned pregnancy (n = 3,702), we estimated the prevalence of contraceptive method used at last intercourse—including intrauterine device, implant, Depo-Provera, oral contraceptive pills, patch, ring, condoms, withdrawal, and emergency contraception—by disability status. We used multivariable Poisson regression to measure the association between disability status and use of any contraceptive. Results: Girls with disabilities were more likely to report having had intercourse compared to girls without disabilities (49.2% vs. 37.4%). Girls with disabilities were less likely to use oral contraceptive pills (32.8% vs. 36.6%) or condoms (51.9% vs. 59.7%) compared to their non-disabled peers. After adjusting for demographic factors, 92.3% of girls with disabilities reported using any contraceptive method compared to 94.7% of girls without a disability (adjusted prevalence difference −2.6%, 95% CI −.26%, −4.9%; adjusted prevalence ratio.97, 95% CI.95–1.00, p =.03). Conclusions: We observed high levels of contraceptive use among Oregon high school girls. Still, girls with disabilities were slightly less likely to report contraceptive use compared to their non-disabled peers. Given the high proportion of teens with disabilities who are sexually active, the magnitude of the difference in contraceptive use could be of concern on a national scale and further research is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Adolescent
  • Contraception
  • Contraceptive methods
  • Disabled persons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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