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Medical Health Aged Care, Women

Improving the contraceptive knowledge of young women from multicultural backgrounds

Monash University 3 mins read

An online educational video aimed at increasing contraceptive knowledge among young women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds is being distributed in five languages.

Release of the 13-minute videos follows a significant research project, EXTEND-PREFER, undertaken by the SPHERE Centre of Research Excellence at Monash University, the results of which were published in the BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health.

Funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care, EXTEND-PREFER benefited from the input of the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health and the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health at the University of Melbourne.

Almost three in 10 people in Australia* are born overseas. Previous research suggests young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds can experience greater barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive health information and care, due in part to lower health literacy, limited awareness of health services and other barriers such as cost.

These educational videos are crucial in ensuring all women have access to accurate contraceptive information so that they can exercise autonomy in reproductive decision making.

Co-designed with young women from five main language backgrounds, the videos discuss all the contraceptive options, including long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and the contraceptive implant.

SPHERE will circulate the videos to multicultural communities, women’s and general health websites and social media platforms.

The BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health paper, led by the Head of Monash University’s Department of General Practice Professor Danielle Mazza AM, found these online educational videos were effective in improving contraceptive knowledge by 41 per cent amongst young women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, aged 16 to 25.

The related study involved 160 young women from Arabian, Cantonese, English, Hindi and Mandarin speaking backgrounds.

“Designed to increase knowledge of LARC (long-acting reversible contraception), the research addressed many of the questions and concerns young women of various ethnic backgrounds have about these products,” Professor Mazza said.

“LARC methods are over 99 per cent effective at preventing pregnancy. However, use of LARCs by Australian women from multicultural communities is low due to limited knowledge, stigma and misconceptions.

“Combining contraceptive education with support to LARC access is crucial for empowering these young women to make informed contraceptive decisions and prevent unintended pregnancies. ”

In the 13-minute videos, young women from the five language groups provide information on the contraceptive methods available in Australia.

Information includes the presence and types of hormones found in various contraceptive methods, effectiveness, how the contraceptive is used, inserted and removed, length of use, cost, whether a prescription is needed, effects on bleeding patterns, non-contraceptive benefits, whether the contraceptive provides protection against sexually transmissible infections, and common side effects.

This study aligns with the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-30 goal to increase the availability and uptake of LARCs, particularly in multicultural populations, and was funded by the Federal Government.

It builds on a number of SPHERE projects since its inception in 2019 that focus on improving the sexual and reproductive health of women from multicultural backgrounds.

*Australian Bureau of Statistics


SPHERE is the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence in Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health in Primary Care – a collaborative research centre comprising national and international experts in sexual and reproductive health.

Link to research paper and videos

Read the full paper in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health: Evaluating the effectiveness of a tailored online educational video on the contraceptive knowledge and decision making of young women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds: Findings from the Extend-Prefer study.

DOI: 10.1136/bmjsrh-2024-202236


For media enquiries please contact:


Monash University

Cheryl Critchley – Media and Communications Manager (medical)

T: +61 (0) 477 571 442


For more Monash media stories, visit our news and events site 

For general media enquiries please contact:
Monash Media
T: +61 (0) 3 9903 4840




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