Concerns about contraceptive side effects among young Latinas: A focus-group approach

Melissa L. Gilliam, Meredith Warden, Chava Goldstein, Beatriz Tapia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


To identify perceptions and attitudes about contraceptive side effects in young, low-income Latina adolescents through focus-group conversations. We conducted seven focus-group discussions with Latino females in an outpatient clinic and community setting. Qualitative methodology was used to analyze data. Participants were recruited from the outpatient gynecology clinic at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and from the Easter Seals Day Care Center. Women were recruited if they were Latino and between the ages of 18 and 26 years (N = 40). Participants cited both perceptions of side effects as well as personal experience with side effects as reasons for not using or discontinuing the use of contraception. Women also demonstrated incorrect knowledge about contraception, and tended to value anecdotal information over information from health professionals. These factors led to reliance on less-effective methods of contraception, placing participants at risk for unintended pregnancy. Concern about side effects, fear of health consequences and misinformation were identified as barriers to effective contraceptive use in young, low-income Latinas. Providers caring for this population should address potential concerns about side effects of contraception as well as assess patients' understanding in light of cultural and language barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-305
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Adolescents
  • Contraception
  • Latinos
  • Side effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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