Lifetime prevalence of sexual intercourse and contraception use at last sex among adolescents and young adults with congenital heart disease

Kevin M. Fry, Cynthia A. Gerhardt, Jerry Ash, Ali N. Zaidi, Vidu Garg, Kim L. McBride, Sara M. Fitzgerald-Butt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose Because of the increased risks associated with unplanned pregnancy for males and females with congenital heart disease (CHD), we investigated sexual intercourse and contraception use in these adolescents and young adults (AYA) and compared the same with national and state population data. Methods We recruited 337 AYA with structural CHD aged 15-25 years (Mage = 19 years, standard deviation = 3.1; 53% male, 84% white) from an outpatient cardiology clinic to participate in a larger study assessing genetic knowledge and health behaviors. Cumulative lifetime prevalence of adolescent (aged 15-18 years) sexual intercourse was compared with the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System and the 2007 Ohio Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Cumulative lifetime prevalence of young adult (aged 19-25 years) sexual intercourse and contraception use at last sex were compared with the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth. Results Reported rates of ever having sexual intercourse, 26% of adolescents and 74% of young adults with CHD, were significantly lower than general population rates (47% and 86% respectively; p <.001). Similar to the general population, 77% of previously sexually active young adults with CHD reported using at least one effective method of contraception at last intercourse, whereas 25% used dual effective methods and 23% used no effective method. Conclusions Lower rates of ever having sexual intercourse in this population suggest that the psychosexual development of AYA with CHD may lag behind their peers. As nearly one in four participants reported using no effective method of contraception, health care providers should increase discussions of contraception with males and females with CHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-401
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the 2012 Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship, an annual grant from the Engelberg Foundation to the National Society of Genetic Counselors and by the Research Institute, Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Contraception
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychosexual development
  • Sexual behavior
  • Young adults

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