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Daily text messages ‘improve use of oral contraceptives’

Sending a daily educational text message has been found to improve women's use of oral contraceptives, a US study has found.

The study looked at 962 women aged between 20 and 22, all of whom received routine care, but some of whom also received daily educational texts regarding oral contraceptive continuation.

Information on which women carried on taking the pill was gathered from 683 of the women via telephone interviews at six months.

Of those who received a daily text message, 64% continued taking oral contraception at six months, compared with 54% in the group who had received no intervention.  

The researchers also found the intervention was more effective for women who smoke, had been pregnant before and was more successful among black and white women compared to Asian or Hispanic women. 

Dr Paula Castano, assistant clinical professor at Columbia University in New York, concluded: ‘A daily educational text message improved six-month oral contraception continuation among young urban women. Some subgroups with high risks of discontinuation experienced greater benefit.'

Contraception, Volume 84, Issue 3, September 2011, Page 306