Dr. Visits, Babies Put On Back-Burner

05.13.09 Study says cheaper contraception, pushing back health exams are signs of economic times


Looks like the economic downturn is causing women to delay pregnancy and postpone their annual gynecological exams, the Chicago Tribune reports.

According to a new Gallup poll of 1,000 women, 1 in 5 women said they are more conscientious about using birth control to avoid having a baby; and 1 in 7 said they had put off their annual visit to the gynecologist because of the economy. Gallup conducted the study for The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which presented the findings at its recent annual meeting.

The survey of 18- to 44-year-olds also found that 9 percent of married women postponed a planned pregnancy because of their financial situation, Tribune reports.

In the wake of the new findings, ACOG cautioned women against cutting back on routine health exams (among them, pap smears and mammograms) as a way to save money.

In other cost-cutting measures, the survey also found that 14 percent of women switched to a less expensive contraceptive, while 3 percent stopped using birth control all together in the past year because they couldn't afford it.

A woman's contraception choices (both before and after you have a baby) have expanded over the years, with several new and convenient methods available—take a look at your options! On the flip side, if you are trying to conceive, here's our 3-month guide to prepare yourself for pregnancy.

Take our poll: What form of birth control did you use after giving birth?

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.