Reproductive Health Counseling and Concerns Among Women with Congenital Heart Defects With and Without Disabilities

Sherry L. Farr, Maureen Galindo, Karrie F. Downing, Wendy N. Nembhard, Scott E. Klewer, Ashley S. Judge, Elijah H. Bolin, Argelia Benavides, Matthew E. Oster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Women with disabilities are less likely to receive reproductive health counseling than women without disabilities. Yet, little is known about reproductive health counseling and concerns among women with congenital heart defects (CHD) and disabilities. Methods: We used population-based survey data from 778 women aged 19 to 38 years with CHD to examine contraceptive and pregnancy counseling and pregnancy concerns and experiences by disability status, based on six validated questions on vision, hearing, mobility, cognition, self-care, and living independently. Multivariable Poisson regression was used to examine adjusted prevalence ratios between disability status and each outcome, adjusted for CHD severity, age, race/ethnicity, place of birth (Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia), and insurance type. Results: Women with disabilities (n = 323) were 1.4 and 2.3 times more likely than women without disabilities (n = 455) to receive clinician counseling on safe contraceptive methods and avoiding pregnancy because of their CHD. Women with CHD and disabilities, compared to those without disabilities, were more likely to be concerned about their ability to have children (aPR = 1.2) and to have delayed or avoided pregnancy (aPR = 2.2); they were less likely to have ever been pregnant (aPR = 0.7). Associations differed slightly across specific disability types. All associations remained after excluding 71 women with chromosomal anomalies. Conclusion: Among women with CHD, reproductive counseling, concerns, and experiences differ by disability status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-746
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • congenital heart defect
  • contraceptive counseling
  • disability
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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