Reproductive Health in Mississippi

◆ OVERVIEW◆ UNINTENDED PREGNANCY IN MS◆ A SURVEY OF PROVIDERS◆ WOMEN & CONTRACEPTION◆ PUBLICATIONS

OVERVIEW

Contraceptive
The majority of new mothers in Mississippi report that their pregnancies were unintended, according to the most recently available survey data collected by the Mississippi State Department of Health.  The social and economic implications of unplanned pregnancy for women, families and the state are wide-reaching and enduring. Considering the broad array of contraception on the market and the availability of family planning services in publicly funded clinics across the state, Mississippi’s high rate of unintended pregnancy is concerning and deserves study.

Women in Mississippi experience high rates of unintended pregnancy, which can be associated with the use of less effective methods of contraception. In an effort to better understand the role of health care providers in contraceptive access, the Center for Mississippi Health Policy engaged researchers at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University to survey obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyn’s), family practice physicians, and nurse practitioners regarding their experience and opinions related to long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).

Women in Mississippi experience high rates of unintended pregnancy, which can be associated with the use of less effective methods of contraception. In an effort to better understand how Mississippians access birth control generally, the Center for Mississippi Health Policy commissioned a survey of Mississippi women of reproductive age to understand what factors influence women’s choice of birth control methods and what barriers, if any, limit them in obtaining the method of their choice.

Preventing Unintended Pregnancy in Mississippi

unintended pregnancy
The majority of new mothers in Mississippi report that their pregnancies were unintended, according to the most recently available survey data collected by the Mississippi State Department of Health.  The social and economic implications of unplanned pregnancy for women, families and the state are wide-reaching and enduring. Considering the broad array of contraception on the market and the availability of family planning services in publicly funded clinics across the state, Mississippi’s high rate of unintended pregnancy is concerning and deserves study. The Center for Mississippi Health Policy has developed an Issue Brief examining data related to unplanned pregnancy in the state. The Center has also produced a Chartbook that examines in more detail the data available about unintended pregnancies and family planning services in Mississippi.

KEY FINDINGS

  • The majority of births in Mississippi result from unintended pregnancy.
  • The use of highly effective birth control methods is associated with reductions in unintended pregnancies, as well as teen pregnancies, abortions, and pre-term births.
  • The use of the long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) in Mississippi is very low, particularly for low-income populations.
  • Other states have succeeded in reducing rates of unintended pregnancy by providing timely access to more effective birth control methods through health system delivery improvements and provider & patient education.
  • There has been a shift from public coverage to more private coverage of contraceptive services.
  • Despite a shift to more private coverage of contraceptive services, publicly supported family planning services remain critical to assuring access for low-income women.

POLICY CONSIDERATIONS

  • Unintended pregnancy is costly to women, families, and taxpayers.
  • The Medicaid Family Planning Waiver Program, which is funded 90 percent with federal funds, is critical for providing access to reproductive health services for low-income women and has shown success in improving usage of more effective contraception.
  • The Title X Family Planning Program provides access to services for uninsured women, as well as those covered by public and private payors who otherwise may not have reproductive health services available to them.
  • Some states have instituted their own contraceptive coverage mandates to ensure continued 100% coverage of contraception by private insurers in the event federal coverage mandates are eliminated.

Copies of the issue brief can be downloaded HERE and the Chartbook HERE. Printed copies of both documents are available by contacting the Center for Mississippi Health Policy at 601-709-2133 or by e-mail at info@mshealthpolicy.com.

Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives: A Survey of Mississippi Health Care Providers

contraceptives
Women in Mississippi experience high rates of unintended pregnancy, which can be associated with the use of less effective methods of contraception. In an effort to better understand the role of health care providers in contraceptive access, the Center for Mississippi Health Policy engaged researchers at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University to survey obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyn’s), family practice physicians, and nurse practitioners regarding their experience and opinions related to long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs).

KEY FINDINGS

  • Ob-gyn’s report providing high numbers of LARCs, while family practice physicians and nurse practitioners are much more likely to refer women to other providers for these services.
  • More than 90 percent of ob-gyn’s reported receiving training for counseling, insertion, and removal of LARCs, while just over half of family practice doctors and approximately 30 percent of nurse practitioners reported receiving training on LARC insertion and removal.
  • Nationally, 70 percent of women 18-44 rely on a family practice doctor as their regular source of care, while 14 percent rely on an ob-gyn, and 10 percent rely on a nurse practitioner.
  • Mississippi has a low number of ob-gyn’s for its population compared to other states, and most of these are clustered in urban areas and around facilities with labor and delivery units.
  • Women without means to travel may be limited to publicly funded clinics which are less likely to be staffed by ob-gyn’s.

More findings from this survey are summarized in the Center’s Issue Brief, and detailed analyses of survey responses can be found in the complete SSRC Report.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Copies of the Issue Brief can be downloaded HERE.  Copies of the complete SSRC Report can be downloaded HERE.  Printed copies of the Issue Brief are available by contacting the Center for Mississippi Health Policy at 601-709-2133 or by e-mail at info@mshealthpolicy.com.

Contraceptive Access, Choice, & Utilization: A Survey of Mississippi Women

WomenUseWhatTheyKnow

Women in Mississippi experience high rates of unintended pregnancy, which can be associated with the use of less effective methods of contraception. In an effort to better understand how Mississippians access birth control generally, the Center for Mississippi Health Policy commissioned a survey of Mississippi women of reproductive age to understand what factors influence women’s choice of birth control methods and what barriers, if any, limit them in obtaining the method of their choice.

Survey respondents were recruited from a geographically diverse sampling that included women who had enrolled children in licensed day care facilities across the state. These mothers also recruited women who had not given birth to a child (nulliparous). The final sample included parous (women who have given birth) and nulliparous respondents of reproductive age (15-44).

The following summarizes some of the key findings from this survey. Additional findings, as well as detailed analysis of survey responses, can be found in the Issue Brief, Chartbook, and Technical Report, which can be downloaded from this page (see documents in side bar to the left).

KEY FINDINGS

  • Ob-gyn’s were most often reported as the provider type last seen for birth control, but parous respondents were much more likely to see an ob-gyn. Over one-third of nulliparous women relied on a family practice physician or nurse practitioner for birth control.
  • Parous women report far higher rates of use of the most effective methods and are less likely to be uninsured.
  • Both nulliparous and parous women reported high rates of insurance coverage. Approximately one-quarter of respondents reported that if they did not have insurance they would not be able to use birth control.
  • Health care providers play a critical role beyond just facilitating access to birth control; they may often be the primary factor influencing a woman’s choice of methods. Survey respondents overwhelmingly indicated reliance on providers as a key source for decision-making, for help in choosing a method, and for medically appropriate guidance.
  • Responses indicate many women have common perceptions that may influence their choice of method or even whether they seek information from their provider about birth control.
  • There is a very strong association between the methods women have ever used and the methods for which they report knowing enough about to make a choice.
  • Knowledge levels for the most effective contraceptive methods is low and far below those for moderately effective and least effective methods.
  • Access to birth control services is significantly different for both parous and nulliparous black women compared to white women in Mississippi. Black women are significantly more likely to report the following:
    • relying on publicly funded clinics;

    • relying on public insurance for birth control;

    • seeing a family practice physician for birth control; and

    • using a least effective method of birth control.

More findings from this survey are summarized in the Center’s Issue Brief, and detailed analyses of survey responses can be found in the Chartbook.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Copies of the Issue Brief can be downloaded HERE.  Copies of the Chartbook can be downloaded HERE.  Printed copies of the Issue Brief and Chartbook are available by contacting the Center for Mississippi Health Policy at 601-709-2133 or by e-mail at info@mshealthpolicy.com.