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Our multidisciplinary ASCENT Center is involved in a variety of - research studies spanning a wide range of topics.


HER Salt Lake City

HER Salt Lake provided free birth control to more than 7,400 people in Salt Lake County; 4,400 of those individuals enrolled in a longitudinal study and are helping us understand the social, health, and economic impacts that free contraception has on their lives.

Sign up for our newsletter to get monthly reports about the HER Salt Lake findings.  

Family Planning Elevated

Family Planning Elevated expands access to contraceptive education, training, and capacity-building for Utah health care centers and providers in an effort to improve equitable, person-centered, comprehensive contraceptive services across the state of Utah. We're helping uninsured, underinsured, and undocumented Utahns get the methods they want, without cost or distance being a barrier.


The study, in the New England Journal of Medicine, tested the copper IUD against intrauterine levonorgestrel in a randomized trial. Researchers recruited 638 women seeking emergency contraception at three Utah family planning clinics, randomly assigning them to one device or the other. After one month, there were no pregnancies among women who used the copper IUD, and one among those who used the hormonal IUD.

Male Contraception

This ongoing trial is testing a new contraceptive gel for men. Based on preliminary research conducted elsewhere, the scientists believe the hormonal gel decreases a man’s sperm production––reducing his chances of fathering a child––without decreasing his sex drive. Expanding contraceptive options for men could ease the burden on women who have traditionally borne a greater responsibility for birth control.

The researchers are recruiting 12 couples to participate in the two-year study, which is part of a nationwide, Phase 2 clinical trial supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Contact Us

ASCENT Center for Reproductive Health

Sarah Elliott
Associate Director, Family Planning