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ACNM Launches Second Annual Our Moment of Truth Report on Women’s Health

by Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, FACNM, ACNM President

As ACNM’s Our Moment of Truth campaign moves into its second year, we’re excited to announce the launch of a report showcasing findings from our new national survey on women’s perceptions of their health services. The responses we received from more than 1200 women across the United States may surprise you. They show that despite the broad range of birth control options available, women generally do not feel knowledgeable about the different types of contraception they could choose.

It became clear through review and analysis of the survey responses that women hold misperceptions on which types of birth control are most effective, suggesting that women are uninformed about different contraceptives’ effectiveness for their reproductive needs.

A closer look at the key findings presents some troubling statistics, but also clear opportunities for the midwifery community, including:

  • Women in the United States hold misperceptions on which types of birth control are most effective. Birth control pills were ranked by 57% of respondents as the most effective birth control, followed by vasectomy (49%), tubal ligation (46%), and condoms (43%). These data corresponded closely with the most widely used types of birth control. Of the women surveyed, most were using birth control pills (27%), followed by condoms (20%), and the withdrawal method (13%).
  • Many health care providers are not properly informing women how to correctly use their method of birth control. In fact, 40% of women surveyed said they did not receive in-depth counsel or information from their health provider on how to use the type of birth control they were prescribed.
  • Many women are not having positive experiences when discussing birth control and family planning with their health care provider. Although 64% of women shared they were presented with multiple birth control options by their health provider, 1 in 10 said they felt pressured to choose one type over another. One in 10 women also stated there were questions they did not feel they were able to ask their health provider. An additional 1 in 10 women said they felt their health provider made assumptions about them that led them to prescribe a certain type of birth control.
  • The data on birth control and family planning are timely and particularly useful as providers and women learn more about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA improves coverage and expands services for women in the area of sexual and reproductive health. Its implementation will also afford women greater access to midwives, who are trained to provide these services. ACNM is working to ensure that women are made aware of midwives’ availability as health care providers as they look to the expanded health services afforded under the ACA.

As evidenced by this new data, midwives have an opportunity to play an integral role in educating women on effective birth control methods, and to promote the conversations many women say they aren’t currently having with their providers on birth control.

We encourage you to review the findings and to work with your clients and women in your community to ensure they know about the evidence-based, comprehensive model of care midwives can offer them throughout their lives. These data add to and reinforce the growing body of research demonstrating the value of midwife-led care.

As we continue to bring attention to the benefits of midwifery, it is important that we understand the gaps that exist so that we can expand and enhance our roles as sought-after women’s health providers. These misperceptions, lack of knowledge, and inadequate communications can serve as a valuable opportunity for ACNM and its members to raise midwifery’s profile and expand our reach and impact within the women’s health landscape.

To read the full findings of the report, visit our survey webpage on the Our Moment of Truth site.

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 10/10/2013 11:22:41 AM



Any opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. ACNM is not responsible for accuracy of any of the information provided by guest bloggers and/or members via the Comments section. We welcome all feedback – including comments, ideas and suggestions. We also welcome civil, friendly debates. However, any and all content that is deemed inflammatory or rude will not be posted.


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