A 15% estimated reduction in unplanned pregnancies, following Upstream’s work in Delaware

Following our partnership with the state of Delaware, the unplanned pregnancy rate in Delaware went down by an estimated 15 percent among Title X patients between 2014–2016, as noted in a new report that Child Trends released today.

This is a substantial improvement over the estimated 1.3 percent decrease nationwide during the same period.

In 2014, with the help of then-Governor Jack Markell, we initiated our first state partnership with Delaware to train health centers across the state to provide same-day access to all methods of contraception—free of cost. Over the past two years, we’ve worked with dozens of clinics, private practices, and hospitals and trained more than 1,000 clinicians and support staff members.

Today’s data shows that this work has made real and measurable impacts in the state. Here are the report’s key findings:

  • Among Delaware Title X family planning clients aged 20 to 39 and at risk of unintended pregnancy, there was an increase in long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) use from 13.7 percent to 27.0 percent between 2014 and 2016.
  • The increase in LARC use was primarily offset by a decrease in hormonal methods such as the Pill, patch, and ring. There was also a small decrease in non-use of contraception (just under 2 percentage points).
  • In Delaware, this movement from moderately effective methods to highly effective LARCs, paired with a small decrease in non-use, resulted in a substantial simulated decrease—of 15 percent—in the unintended pregnancy rate among this population, between 2014 and 2016.
  • Similar analyses of changes in method use among Title X family planning clients nationwide found a smaller increase in LARC use—from 13.6 percent to 17.6 percent—and no decrease in non-use. The resulting simulated decrease in unintended pregnancy was 1.3 percent during the same period.

Empowering women to reach their own goals of becoming pregnant only if and when they want to boosts opportunity for women, their families, and states. We’re heartened by the progress we’ve made increasing patient choice with comprehensive contraceptive access demonstrated in this new analysis. When women have access to the full range of contraception without barriers or cost, they are able to choose the method that works best for them, reducing unintended pregnancy.

We’re looking forward to working with states across the country to improve outcomes for all women and their families.

Read the full report here.

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