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Use of long-acting reversible contraception in a cluster-random sample of female sex workers in Kenya.

Ampt FH, Lim MSC, Agius PA, Chersich MF, Manguro G, Gichuki CM, Stoové M, Temmerman M, Jaoko W, Hellard M, Gichangi P, Luchters S

  • Journal International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics

  • Published 17 Jun 2019

  • Volume 146

  • ISSUE 2

  • Pagination 184-191

  • DOI 10.1002/ijgo.12862


To assess correlates of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) use, and explore patterns of LARC use among female sex workers (FSWs) in Kenya.

Baseline cross-sectional data were collected between September 2016 and May 2017 in a cluster-randomized controlled trial in Mombasa. Eligibility criteria included current sex work, age 16-34 years, not pregnant, and not planning pregnancy. Peer educators recruited FSWs from randomly selected sex-work venues. Multiple logistic regression identified correlates of LARC use. Prevalence estimates were weighted to adjust for variation in FSW numbers recruited across venues.

Among 879 participants, the prevalence of contraceptive use was 22.6% for implants and 1.6% for intra-uterine devices (IUDs). LARC use was independently associated with previous pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio for one pregnancy, 11.4; 95% confidence interval, 4.25-30.8), positive attitude to and better knowledge of family planning, younger age, and lower education. High rates of adverse effects were reported for all methods.

The findings suggest that implant use has increased among FSWs in Kenya. Unintended pregnancy risks remain high and IUD use is negligible. Although LARC rates are encouraging, further intervention is required to improve both uptake (particularly of IUDs) and greater access to family planning services.