The impact of postpartum contraception on reducing preterm birth: findings from California

Maria Rodriguez, Richard Chang, Heike Thiel De Bocanegra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


CONCLUSION: Improving postpartum contraceptive use has the potential to reduce preterm births.

OBJECTIVE: Family planning is recommended as a strategy to prevent adverse birth outcomes. The potential contribution of postpartum contraceptive coverage to reducing rates of preterm birth is unknown. In this study, we examine the impact of contraceptive coverage and use within 18 months of a birth on preventing preterm birth in a Californian cohort.

STUDY DESIGN: We identified records for second or higher-order births among women from California's 2011 Birth Statistical Master File and their prior births from earlier Birth Statistical Master Files. To identify women who received contraceptive services from publicly funded programs, we applied a probabilistic linking methodology to match birth files with enrollment records for women with Medi-Cal or Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment Program (PACT) claims. The length of contraceptive coverage was determined through applying an algorithm based on the specified method and the quantity dispensed. Preterm birth was defined as a birth occurring

RESULTS: The cohort consisted of 111,948 women who were seen at least once by a Medi-Cal or Family PACT provider within 18 months of delivery. Of the cohort, 9.75% had a preterm birth. Contraceptive coverage was found to be protective against preterm birth. For every month of contraceptive coverage, odds of a preterm birth

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015



  • contraception
  • Medicaid
  • postpartum care
  • preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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