Lead author Kyla Donnelly of The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science and colleagues conducted an online survey of 417 women, ages 15 to 45, and 188 multidisciplinary U.S. contraceptive care providers. Both groups were asked what matters most when deciding on a contraceptive method, rating the importance of 34 questions.
The most important question for women was how the birth control method worked to prevent pregnancy. Side effects of a birth control method was in the top three questions for 26 percent of women, but 16 percent of healthcare providers.
"How often does a patient need to remember to use it?" was the top rated question by healthcare providers.
The study, published in the journal Contraception, found the average importance ratings given by women and providers were similar for 18 questions, but dissimilar for 16 questions.
"Everything we hear suggests that women are struggling to choose the contraceptive method that best fits their unique needs and preferences," Donnelly said in a statement.
"Our findings suggest that this mismatch between what women want to know and what providers want to discuss may be a key factor."
No survey details were provided.