• Article

Choice of female-controlled barrier methods among young women and their male sexual partners

CONTEXT: Little is known about the factors associated with the choice of female-controlled, over-the-counter barrier contraceptive methods among women and their male sexual partners. METHODS: Predictors of method choice were assessed following an educational presentation on contraceptive use and risk reduction among 510 sexually active females aged 15-30 who were recruited in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, the primary partners of 160 of these women participated in the survey RESULTS: Twenty-two percent of women who enrolled in the study alone, 25% of those who enrolled with their main partner and 18% of these male partners chose female-controlled, over-the-counter barrier methods alone. The strongest predictor of this choice was current use of a hormonal contraceptive both for women who participated in the study on their own (odds ratio, 2.1) and for those who enrolled their partner in the study (odds ratio, 6.3). Female-controlled methods were also chosen significantly more often by teenagers than by older women; for example, among those who enrolled with a male partner, the odds ratio for selection of a female-controlled barrier method by women younger than 18 was 6.0. Among women who enrolled without a partner, those who had had multiple partners in the previous six months and those who were current users of male condoms were less likely to choose female-controlled methods (odds ratios, 0.7 and 0.5, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Although the majority of participants did not choose female-controlled, over-the-counter barrier methods without also choosing male condoms, such female-controlled methods appear to offer an acceptable alternative for prevention of sexually transmitted infections. They may be a particularly attractive option for individuals using hormonal contraceptives and for teenage women


Minnis, A., & Padian, N. (2001). Choice of female-controlled barrier methods among young women and their male sexual partners. Family Planning Perspectives, 33(1), 28-34.