The majority of new contraceptive users become dissatisfied with their birth control method and stop using it after only a few months. Researchers are still trying to understand the major factors that lead to this contraceptive dissatisfaction and continuation. GWS professor Jenny Higgins argues that a critical but overlooked factor is sexual acceptability, or how contraceptive methods affect people’s sexual well-being. (She also argues that some contraceptive methods may help improve your sex life.)
Higgins was just awarded a large grant from the National Institutes for Health to further examine this issue. In this $1.3 million, four-year study, Higgins and her collaborators will follow a cohort of 1,000 patients from Planned Parenthood clinics who recently started a new contraceptive method. They’ll document how these patients fare over time with their sexual outcomes, and they’ll determine if greater sexual acceptability can help predict more satisfied contraceptive users over time.
Congratulations, Professor Higgins! We look forward to following your work on this, Jenny!