I’m incredibly energized by what we’re learning from the early data in Delaware, and what it foretells about the measurable impact we’ll have in the state where 57% of the pregnancies are unplanned. As a result of Upstream’s work to improve Delaware’s healthcare system, the early data shows that women in Delaware are shifting to using more effective birth control, like long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs), and remarkably quickly.
And because we’re making reproductive care a centerpiece of primary care – the place where most women get their healthcare – a higher percentage of women are leaving their appointments with some kind of birth control. Before we heard stories of women who were never offered the most effective methods, and all too often, stories of women who had no idea they could get birth control from their regular provider. This has now changed, and we are confident that an increase in contraceptive use broadly will have just as big an impact on reducing unplanned pregnancy as the percentage of women choosing IUDs and implants.
What’s critical in all of this is that patients report that they are in control of their contraceptive decision-making.
We have new patient survey data confirming that 99% of Delaware women were empowered to choose their birth control method via shared decision-making with their provider. 98% confirmed that they did not feel pressured to choose any method of birth control. These results mirror what we saw in previous surveys after our work in Massachusetts and Ohio.
To put it simply: Delaware is now providing some of the best contraceptive care in the country. Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, told us recently,
“In all my years as a medical professional, I’ve never encountered a public health initiative that has made such a dramatic impact on practice change in such a short period of time.”
Upstream is passionately focused on one idea: empowering women to achieve their own goals of becoming pregnant only if and when they want to. Thank you for supporting us and our mission. I am more convinced than ever that, together, we can make a powerful difference for women in the United States.