Background: Women are counseled to avoid becoming pregnant for 12-24 months after bariatric surgery. The aim of this study was to assess contraceptive counseling and use in women who undergo bariatric surgery. Methods: A self-administered survey was completed by women aged 18-45 years at a postoperative clinic visit >2 months after bariatric surgery at an urban teaching hospital. Results: Of the 69 respondents, 94.2% knew to avoid pregnancy for at least 12 months after surgery. However, 16.3% did not use any contraception 2-12 months after surgery. The most common contraceptive methods used were condoms (30.6%) and oral contraceptives (16.3%). Longer-acting reversible contraceptives were used less frequently; for example, only 4% of women used intrauterine devices. Only 21.2% of respondents were referred to an obstetrician/gynecologist for contraceptive counseling. Conclusions: Many women who undergo bariatric surgery are not using very effective contraceptive methods or any contraception. There is a clear opportunity to improve counseling and increase use of more effective contraception in this population.
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